Elisabeth Chaplin Fon­tain­bleau, 1890 – Fiesole, 1982

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ITALY -


in France, Elisabeth Chaplin moved to Fiesole in 1905. It was in Florence she learned her craft by copy­ing the Old Mas­ters at the Uf­fizi, in­clud­ing Pon­tormo and Bronzino. In 1910, her Fam­ily Por­trait won a gold medal from the Florence So­ci­ety of Fine Arts. Her young Self-Por­trait with a

Green Um­brella, is now part of the Uf­fizi's famed self-por­trait col­lec­tion and bears wit­ness to her suc­cess at an early age. She au­thored the paint­ing when she was 16 years old.

From 1930 to the 1950s, she lived in Paris where, in ad­di­tion to paint­ings, she pro­duced ta­pes­tries and murals. Her col­orist flair re­calls the Nabis pain­ters. In 1938, Chaplin was awarded the French Le­gion of Honor, an award in­sti­tuted by the Em­press Eu­ge­nie on the premise that 'ge­nius has no sex'. Chaplin re­turned to her child­hood home in Fiesole, Villa Il Trep­piede, af­ter the Sec­ond World War; it is there where she con­tin­ued paint­ing land­scape and fam­ily por­traits.

In 1974, Chaplin do­nated her en­tire body of works, along with art by her mother, sculp­tor Mar­guerite Bavier, her painter-un­cles Charles and Au­thor and nephew, Robert. The lat­ter, whose whim­si­cal por­trait is on dis­play, suf­fered from mus­cu­lar dys­tro­phy but was be­ing trained in the arts when he died at age 11. Fif­teen of Caplin's works are on dis­play at the Pitti Mod­ern Art Gallery, in­clud­ing her must-see Por­trait with a Red Shawl and her lovely The

Three Sis­ters, re­stored in 2014. More than 700 of the artist's paint­ings and draw­ings are in stor­age.

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