Elisabeth was the niece of French painter Charles Chaplin. In 1900 her family moved to Italy, because of her father’s job, first to Piemonte and afterwards to the Italian Riviera. It was there, in Lagueglia, that Elisabeth started to teach herself to paint, with no formal training and only the advice of Albert Besnard. When the Chaplin family took up residence at the Villa Rossi in Florence in 1904, Elisabeth had the chance to visit Francesco Gioli’s studio and meet Giovanni Fattori.
Elisabeth’s visits to the Uffizi Museum were decisive in her decision to focus on copying the classics. From 1905-8, she painted her first large canvas and in 1911 her “Ritratto di Famiglia” (Family Portrait) for the Society of Fine Arts won her a gold medal. In 1912 Chaplin exhibited her works at the Florence Promotrice show for new talent and in 1916 she moved with her family to Rome, where she would live until 1922. Meanwhile, she participated in the Venice Biennial in 1920 and in the Paris Salon in 1921, where her works met with such success that she decided to contribute to the Salon regularly. In the 1930’s Chaplin produced numerous frescoes and murals.
In 1937 she won a gold medal at the International Exhibition in Paris and in 1939 she was inducted into the Legion of Honor.
Written by : Cecilia Iacopetti – Translated by: Paola Ludovici and Nanette Cooper
© Studio d’Arte dell’800