A painter of landscapes, figure subjects and portraits, Wilfrid Gabriel de Glehn was one of England’s leading Impressionists, recognised for his direct, painterly style, vibrant colour and ability to capture sparkling, sensual light effects.
In 1891, he began a lifelong friendship with John Singer Sargent, when Edwin Austin Abbey chose him to come to Fairford in Gloucester and assist him with Sargent’s mural commission for the Boston Public Library. It was possibly through Sargent that Wilfrid de Glehn met Jane Emmet, who came from a distinguished New York family and was related to Henry James. They married in 1904 and soon joined Sargent in Venice on what would be probably the first of many painting holidays they enjoyed together and with other artists before WWI.
By 1900, de Glehn had already begun to come into his own as a painter. He joined the NEAC, befriended both Tonks and Steer, and exhibited at the Paris Salon, the Royal Academy, the New Gallery and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. His first solo exhibition was held at the Carfax Gallery in 1908. He was elected an ARA in 1923 and made an RA in 1932.
De Glehn attended Brighton College and the Government Art Training School, South Kensington before 1890, when he enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts and continued his formal training with Gustave Moreau and Elie Delaunay.
Messum’s Wiltshire is a pioneering multi-purpose gallery and arts centre celebrating the creative endeavour.