Elisabeth Chaplin Fontainbleau, 1890 – Fiesole, 1982
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.