ETHEL GABAIN (FRENCH 1883-1950)
Green feather and green gloves
titled on a label attached to the reverse
oil on canvas
51 x 61 cm
Ethel Léontine Gabain, later Ethel Copley, a French-Scottish artist. Gabain was a renowned painter and lithographer and among the founding members of the Senefelder Club. known for her oil portraits of actresses.
In 1902, Gabain studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London before returning to France in 1903 to study at Raphael Collin's Studio in Paris. From 1904 to 1906 she studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. There, the artist, F. E. Jackson, taught Gabain the art of lithography. The Central, which was established in 1896 by the London County Council, offered instruction in the trades which were thought to be more artistic – lithography being one of them. Gabain was determined to produce her own lithographic prints and also enrolled at the Chelsea Polytechnic for a time. Here she learnt how to use a printing press. Gabain experimented with colour lithography and decided it was not how she wanted to work so she sought to produce brilliant rich black and white lithographs.
The Senefelder Club
In 1910, Gabain and her future husband John Copley, along with A.S Hartrick and Joseph Pennell, were among the founding members of the Senefelder Club. When the Club held its first exhibition at the Goupil Gallery in January that year, six lithographs by Gabain were included. In 1927 the club’s members exhibited at the Modern British Engravings Exhibition – held in the Pavilion de Marsan, a wing of the Louvre. In 1929 she featured in the British Art exhibition in Sweden.
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