Autoritratto in rosa  (1921)

Autoritratto in rosa (1921)

I discovered Elisabeth Chaplin when we were in Florence last summer and saw her work hanging in the Palazzo Pitti’s Modern Art Gallery.


I loved it instantly because of the use of colour and stylisation and how they capture a moment in time so I thought I’d share her with you today.

Young Girls in Yellow (1921)

Young Girls in Yellow (1921)

She seems to be one of France/Italy’s little-remembered artists – I had wanted to buy a book (but not in Italien) but none are available and the one Amazon is selling is £160 😯 Still, I have found a little information about her…

chaplin 2

She was born in 1890 to artist parents – her father taught painting to women (Mary Cassatt was one) but he sadly died when she was a baby. In the 1900’s her family moved to Italy where Elisabeth taught herself to paint by copying works in the Uffizi Museum. She went on to socialise with numerous painters, live in Rome and then France, ending her life in Italy and win various awards over the course of time.

Self-portrait Wearing a Red Shawl c 1912

It seems she is most well-known for her portraits and Tuscan landscapes and that she didn’t need to earn a living through selling her work and so was able to paint what she enjoyed which accounted for the vast range of family portraits.

Jeune fille en rouge

Jeune fille en rouge

Depending on who you read and believe, Elisabeth was a follower of the Macchiaoli (not really heard of outside of Italy) or the Nabis. The former believe that paintings should have bright and dark splashes of colour to enliven it. The latter that paintings could have a non-representative look; sharing much of artistic ambitions of the impressionists.

Ponte alla badia  1953

Ponte alla badia 1953

Either way I think both influences can be seen in her work.


It’s a shame that there isn’t more information and good pictures available to see (all but 2 of my photo’s came out blurred because of the dim lighting 😕) but I hope you enjoyed discovering her as much as I did.