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Ethel Gabain was one of the most consistently distinctive printmakers of the first half of the 20th century, a technically brilliant lithographer whose skill was matched by her emotional subtlety. Iain Pears Ethel Gabain Lithographs As Ethel Gabain and her husband John Copley printed all of their own editions, the paper type often varies within an edition.

front cover: 1. Reflections, 1914, ed 24, signed, 35 x 26.5 cm, ÂŁ750 back cover: 2. Music, 1916, signed, 43 x 28 cm, ÂŁ750

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Although born at Le Havre in France Ethel Gabain was educated in England and studied art at the Slade School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design in London. She later went to work in Paris for a short time before permanently settling in England and setting up her own studio at Brook Green, London. Early in her career Gabain decided to concentrate largely upon lithography and in 1906 produced her first work in that medium. She was a founder member of the Senefelder Club which was formed in 1909 by her husband to be, the artist John Copley, and Joseph Pennell with the intention of renewing interest in lithography as a means for producing fine art prints. She exhibited at Colnaghi’s in London and later at the Royal Academy and in Paris.

The subject matter of Gabain’s lithographs was often of lone girls or women in domestic interiors, sometimes with children and perhaps showing the influence of artists such as Berthe Morisot and Walter Sickert. From around 1916 she developed an interest in theatre and dance, often depicting Pierrot (a character from French pantomime) and ballet scenes. Gabain usually worked in black and white, occasionally employing colour to highlight details. From the mid 1920s Gabain also made a few etchings but because of the dramatic fall in demand for prints in the 1930s she produced only seven lithographs during that decade. Seeking an alternative source of income she turned to portrait painting and created oils of several actresses as well as a commissioned portrait of the scientist Alexander Fleming.

3. Lutteuse Jeune, 1911, ed 24, signed, 30.5 x 22.5 cm, ÂŁ650

Ethel and John printing.

Throughout her career Gabain produced approximately 320 lithographs and her work is represented in several prestigious public collections, including the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. After her death in 1985 the artist Carel Weight wrote to her husband saying that she was one of the very few people I have met who had a measure of greatness in her.

During World War II Gabain was appointed an Official War Artist and returned to making lithographs. With the backing of Sir Kenneth Clark, she worked for the War Artists Advisory Committee and her lithographs continued to be purchased by them until the end of the war.

In recent years there has been a marked increase of interest in her lithographs aided by important retrospective exhibitions at the Garton & Cooke Gallery (1985) and the Fine Art Society (2003). In 2008 Susan Thomson published a substantial monograph, The Life and Works of Ethel Gabain.


4. La Contadina, 1926, signed, 42.5 x 29 cm, ÂŁ475

5. Sul Balcone, 1926, signed, 30 x 23 cm, ÂŁ450


6. The Pergola, 1914, ed 24, signed, 35 x 27.5 cm, ÂŁ450

7. Untitled, signed, 34.5 x 27 cm, ÂŁ495

all prices include frame, vat and uk delivery

8. The Parrot, 1919, ed 28, signed, 34.5 x 22.5 cm, ÂŁ475

9. Le Roi Soleil, 1916, ed 32, signed, 28 x 33.5 cm, ÂŁ450

10. Château Gaillard: Evening, 1912, ed 18, signed, 40.5 x 28 cm, £450

11. Pierrot al Mare, 1927, signed, 21 x 22 cm, £425 12. Gavroche, 1921, ed 24, signed, 33 x 15.5 cm, £425

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13. The Balustrade, 1911, ed 20, signed, 28.5 x 22 cm, ÂŁ395

14. Pierrot Infidèle, 1919, ed 24, signed, 35 x 26 cm, £495


15. Mother and Child Standing, 1908, ed 23, signed, 31 x 18.5 cm, ÂŁ750

16. Berçeuse, 1915, ed 51, signed, 32.5 x 21.5 cm, £595

all prices include frame, vat and uk delivery

17. La Reveuse, 1919, ed 24, signed, 20.5 x 28 cm, ÂŁ550

18. 'Si les Bijoux Étaient Indiscrets' (Les Bijoux), 1914, ed 24, 35 x 27 cm, £495

19. The Crab-Apple Tree, 1915, ed 24, signed, 28.5 x 26.5 cm, ÂŁ495

20. L'Anniversaire, 1926, signed, 39 x 28.5 cm, ÂŁ495

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21. A Summer Room, 1923, ed 24, signed, 33.5 x 22.5 cm, ÂŁ550

22. La Chambre DĂŠserte, 1913, ed 24, signed, 38 x 28.5 cm, ÂŁ350


23. Aux Bords de la Seine, 1912, ed 18, signed, 42 x 53.5 cm, ÂŁ450

24. The Removal, 1912, ed 24, signed, 15.5 x 23 cm, ÂŁ395 25. Wye, Kent, 1921, ed 24, signed, 15 x 29.5 cm, ÂŁ350

all prices include frame, vat and uk delivery

26. Nostalgie de Pierrot, 1926, signed, 30 x 18.5 cm, ÂŁ475 27. Un Amour de Pierrot, 1916, ed 24, signed, 39 x 22.5 cm, ÂŁ450

28. Le Retour de Pierrot, 1923, ed 24, signed, 31.5 x 26.5 cm, ÂŁ450

29. Jeunesse, 1929, signed, 35.5 x 28 cm, ÂŁ675

30. A Dancer Resting, 1916, ed 24, signed, 34.5 x 22.5 cm, ÂŁ475

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31. On the Road, 1913, ed 24, signed, 47 x 38 cm, ÂŁ850

32. Un Monsieur, 1924, signed, 31 x 16.5 cm, ÂŁ425 33. Le Lorgnon, 1919, ed 54, signed, 31 x 15.5 cm, ÂŁ425


34. Untitled, signed, 36.5 x 20.5 cm, ÂŁ450

35. Solva, 1926, signed, 27 x 35.5 cm, ÂŁ395

all prices include frame, vat and uk delivery

36. Laveuse de Vaiselle, 1908, ed 16, 26.5 x 21 cm, ÂŁ550

‘. . . one of the very few people

I have met who had a measure of greatness in her.’ Carel Weight


GOLDMARK GALLERY, ORANGE STREET, UPPINGHAM, RUTLAND, LE15 9SQ Open Monday to Saturday 9.30 - 5.30, Sunday 2.30 - 5.30 and Bank Holidays

Ethel Gabain - Lithographs  
Ethel Gabain - Lithographs  

An online turning page catalogue of original signed lithographs by Ethel Gabain, available to buy from Goldmark.