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At a Sunny Window
Photo credit: Watford Museum

At a Sunny Window

Ethel Léontine Gabain (1883–1950)

Watford Museum

Printmaker and painter, born in Le Havre, of mixed French and Scottish descent. She married the artist John Copley in 1913, their son being the actor Peter Copley. After spending her first 14 years in France Gabain attended an English boarding school, then studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, Collin’s studio in Paris and lithography at Central School of Arts and Crafts. With Copley she was a founder-member of the Senefelder Club in 1910. Despite continuing poor health she travelled on the continent and was a prolific printmaker; turned to painting in Italy in 1924, making her first appearance with an oil painting, Zinnias, at RA in 1927. Also exhibited at Goupil, Redfern and Chenil Galleries; with Colnaghi; RSA; Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool; and was a member of RBA (which gave her a memorial exhibition in 1950), ROI and SWA (becoming its vice-president).

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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