Jane de Glehn

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John Singer Sargent : Jane de Glehn in Venice, watercolor, 1904

Jane Erin de Glehn , actually Jane Erin Emmet (* 1873 in New Rochelle , New York , † 1961 in New York City , New York ) was an American portrait painter .


Jane Erin Emmet was the youngest daughter of ten children of wealthy entrepreneur William Jenkins Emmet and his wife Julia Colt Pierson. Her mother painted, one brother was the engineer William Le Roy Emmet (1859–1941), a considerably older sister was the painter Rosina Emmet Sherwood (1854–1948).

Together with her sister Lydia (1866–1952) and her cousin Ellen Emmet (1876–1941) she studied art history at the Art Students League of New York in New York City , with Frederick William MacMonnies and William Merritt Chase , among others . Her teachers strongly advised her to continue studying in Paris . Accompanied by his cousin, Emmet went to France in 1892 to study with Tony Robert-Fleury at the Académie Julian in Paris.

John Singer Sargent: Jane and Wilfred de Glehn, oil on canvas, undated

Until the end of the century, Paris remained Emmet's artistic reference point, where she cultivated friendship and exchange with Edgar Degas and Jean-Louis Forain . On study trips to Brittany , England and Italy , she met the painter John Singer Sargent . He introduced her to her future husband Wilfrid de Glehn . On her return to New Rochelle, she married Glehn in 1904. The marriage, which was reportedly a happy one, remained childless. After a riding accident, Jane de Glehn was unable to carry children for medical reasons.

Between 1905 and 1914 the couple accompanied their friend Sargent on his numerous trips through Europe. The artist's pictures, which were created during that time, were later exhibited in the exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Arts , New English Art Club and the Royal Hibernian Academy .

When the First World War broke out , Jane de Glehn was involved with the British Red Cross in France. At the same time, her husband went to the Italian front as a war illustrator with the British armed forces. Between the war years, the couple lived alternately in New York City and London. In the summer months she traveled to Greece , Corfu , Venice and Cornwell . After her husband's death, she moved to live with her family.


  • Her great-grandfather, Thomas Addis Emmet (1764–1827), had to emigrate to America in 1803 after an unsuccessful rebellion by his brother.
  • Her great-great-uncle, Robert Emmet (1778-1803) was an Irish rebel leader and nationalist. In 1803 he led an unsuccessful rebellion against British rule, was captured and executed.
  • She was the aunt of the playwright and screenwriter Robert E. Sherwood (1896–1955).

Portraits by John Singer Sargent