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Elisabeth Chaplin

Elisabeth Chaplin is the artist with the most works in Florence’s collections. Chaplin was a French-born artist who came from a family of painters and sculptors. Her mother was a poet and sculptor. Her uncle was a painter and engraver who taught artists like Mary Cassatt. Chaplin began painting with no formal training. After moving to Tuscany as a child, she taught herself by copying from classic works at the Uffizi Gallery. She also had a chance to visit Francesco Giolio’s studio and meet painter Giovanni Fattori. The Chaplin family moved to Rome in 1916 and it was there she met Paul-Albert Besnard, a French painter and print maker who would become one of her mentors. The artist’s work often features colorful family scenes and portraiture. She exhibited widely in Italy before moving to Paris in the late 1930s, where she created large-scale public works at Notre-Dame du Salut and Saint Esprit and was awarded the French Republic’s Legion of Honor. Later in life, the artist settled in Fiesole and was honored with shows in Florence’s most prestigious venues such as Palazzo Strozzi and a posthumous exhibition in Palazzo Vecchio.

“Saving” Chaplin

See various phases of the restoration of Elisabeth Chaplin’s The Three Sisters.

Chaplin on Show

A show in the Tuscan hills and a Pitti home-coming.

Spotlighting Chaplin

AWA’s restoration sparked new interest in art by women. Here’s how.


By giving a voice to historic
women artists AWA rescues
and reclaims the ‘hidden half’
of Florence’s art.

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