Ethel-Leontine Gabain

France, b.1883, d.1950

La toilette

  • 1913
  • Lithograph
  • Sir Joseph Kinsey Collection, 1936
  • 451 x 324mm
  • 69/414

The image of a young woman caught in an intimate ritual is an art history staple, and most usually seen through the eyes of a male artist. Ethel Gabain’s works offer her own perspective on the ‘feminine personal’. Described as showing special sympathy for early womanhood with its “unformulated hopes and fears”, her lithographs were renowned for their subtlety and strength. The private room she depicts here in delicate, confident lines is secondary to the psychological space she opens up between this young woman and her reflection. Ethel was later commissioned as an official war artist, travelling to supply depots, factories, lumber camps and shipyards around Britain to portray women at work.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History