Wilfrid-Gabriel de Glehn was born in Sydenham, England, a suburb of London, in 1870. His father was a coffee importer but his mother, being French, allowed Wilfrid the opportunity of staying with relatives frequently in France, thus becoming thoroughly bilingual. He entered Brighton College before matriculating at the Royal College of Art in South Kensington. He completed his formal art education at the Ecoles des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Shortly afterwards, in 1895, he was introduced to John Singer Sargent by Edwin Austin Abbey. At this time, Sargent was working on the Boston Public Library murals and was looking for someone to assist him with the Frieze of the Prophets. De Glehn helped only during the earlier stages of the murals but his friendship with Sargent was to last a lifetime. At this time, de Glehn had embarked on his own career in England but it was not until he went to the United States in 1903 to assist in the installation of the Boston Library panels that he met his wife-to-be, Jane Emmet. Ms. Emmet came from a distinguished family of painters and in 1896 she had travelled to Europe to study with the American sculptor and painter, Frederick MacMonnies in Paris. Sargent had been concerned that de Glehn would want to stay in America after his announcement of marriage to Emmet was made public but this concern proved to be unfounded and Jane was quickly accepted into Sargent's close-knit social group. Marriage brought ten prolific years for de Glehn. During this period, 1904-1914, the de Glehn's travelled extensively with Sargent throughout Venice, Florence, Switzerland and Spain. But World War I brought about an abrupt change to their "Joie de vivre", and the de Glehn's became actively involved in the Allied War efforts. In 1923, de Glehn was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy and in 1932 he was made a full Academician. During this time, he also maintained a successful practice as a portrait painter in London and travelled to United States every other autumn to fulfill commissions. De Glehn was very involved with the British Impressionist movement throughout his career.