Emily Warren

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For the songwriter, see Emily Warren (songwriter). For the courtesan, see Emily Warren (courtesan).
Emily Warren
Born Emily Mary Bibbens
November 22, 1869
Exeter, Devon
Died June 28, 1956
Dunrobin, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Known for painter

Emily Mary Bibbens Warren (1869 – 1956) was a British Canadian artist and illustrator. She worked in ink, watercolour, oil, gouache, and graphite. Her favourite subjects included gardens, landscape, and in interiors and exteriors of buildings. She is known for sunlight beaming through stained glass windows.

Early career[edit]

Emily Warren instigated a successful movement to have John Ruskin's home, Brantwood, made into a museum. She lectured before Ruskin Societies.

She took a course in architecture by Sir Bannister Fletcher. She graduated from the College of Art, South Kensington. She took certificates in biology, botany and geology. She came to Canada in 1919 and lived in Ottawa, Ontario. She lived in Montreal, Quebec from 1928 to 1934. She died in Dunrobin, Ontario in 1956.


She was a member of The Royal Society of British Artists, The British Watercolour Society, the Old Dudley Arts Society, the Aberdeen Society of Arts and the Society of Women Artists. She was a member of the Committee for Preservation of Memorials in London.

Critical success[edit]

National Gallery of Canada purchased her oil painting "Placing the Canadian Colours on Wolfe's Monument in Westminster Abbey", an oil 19 × 37", which can be seen in the Picture Division -File No. 705-7, Room 12- 15 B.I. In 1921 she was commissioned by Sir Robert Borden to come to Canada to complete two large canvasses 6'6" × 11'6", oil painting entitled "Canada's Tribute, The Great War 1914–1919" and "Placing the Canadian Colours on Wolfe's Monument in Westminster Abbey".[1] The Canada Tribute paintings were initially hung in the Parliament Buildings but have been hung in the Sir Arthur Currie Memorial Hall of the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario since 1947.

Final years[edit]

She travelled and painted in British Columbia, Belgium. Scotland and France. She exhibited in England. She illustrated `Homes and Haunts of John Ruskin` by E.T. Cook. She gave lectures in Canada in the 1920s and 1930s illustrated by 1900 handcoloured glass slides reproducing her own paintings. Half of the 1900 slides are in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, along with an extensive collection of correspondence, lecture notes, and biographical material. Two boxes of slides of drawings of individual generals' faces and of flags, preliminary drawings for her paintings, "Canada's Tribute" and "Placing the Canadian Colours on Wolfe's Monument in Westminster Abbey", are in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa.

She held an annual sale of watercolours in Ottawa, Ontario. There was a demand for her paintings of Canada, England and the continent of Europe.[2]

Illustrations for books[edit]

  • E.T. Cook `Homes and Haunts of John Ruskin`


  • Emily Warren 'Quai Rosaire', Brughes, Watercolour, Signed 10.5 × 7 in, 26.7 × 17.8 cm
  • Emily Warren 'Autumn Day', Watercolour, Signed 12 × 9 in, 30.5 × 22.9 cm
  • Emily Warren 'Autumn Glory, Meech Lake, Gatineau Watercolour, Signed 6.4 × 10 in
  • Emily Warren 'Barges before the Houses of Parliament' pencil and watercolour signed 10¼ × 15¾in. (26 × 40 cm.)
  • Emily Warren 'Dover Castle' signed 'E.M.B. Warren'; watercolour 13 × 9 inches
  • Emily Warren 'Fall Lake View' signed 'E.M.B. Warren' watercolour 6¾" × 10¼"
  • Emily Warren 'Garden scene with abundant floral bloom, Watercolour, 11½" × 8",
  • Emily Warren 'Manitoulin island"- Watercolour signed
  • Emily Warren 'Ottawa Parliament Buildings Watercolour signed 7" × 10"
  • Emily Warren 'Sun Breaking Through the Clouds", signed, watercolour, 27 cm × 37 cm
  • Emily Warren 'Thatched cottage at Portlock Weir" Watercolour, signed 7.5"x10",
  • Emily Warren 'The Colonne, De, Congress" Brussels. 4" × 2", watercolour
  • Emily Warren 'The Statue of Sir Hans Sloane in the Physic Garden. From a water-colour drawing by E. M. B. Warren From: 'Description of the plates', Survey of London: volume 2: Chelsea, pt I (1909), pp. VIII-XI.[3]
  • Emily Warren 'Canadian Hall Interior' Watercolour 7.5" × 5.5" ? 19.1 × 14 cm.
  • Emily Warren 'The nave of St Paul's Cathedral' Watercolour 25¾x18¾ in, 65.024×47.244 cm
  • Emily Warren 'Canada's Tribute' signed 'E.M.B. Warren' at Royal Military College of Canada
  • Emily Warren 'Canada's Tribute' signed 'E.M.B. Warren' at Officer`s Mess, Cartier Square Drill Hall


Her work is in the collections of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario and the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario


In 1939 the Royal Society of British Artists made her an R.B.A..



  • Constance McRae, The Light Must Be Perfect, The Life and Art of Emily Warren, A Biographical Memoir, Toronto, Dreadnaught, 1981.
  • Forty-four of her illustrations were reproduced in Edward T. Cook's Homes and Haunts of John Ruskin, London: G. Allan, 1912.
  • The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction: Volume IV, S-Z
  • Emily Mary Bibbens Warren Collection at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto includes lecture notes and glass slides, watercolours, drawings, commonplace book, scrapbook, sketchbook, notes, correspondence, and notes, drafts and photographs for her biography by Constance McRae.
  • Emily Mary Bibbens Warren Collection, Canadian Women Artists History Initiative, Documentation Centre, Concordia University,

External links[edit]