Wilfred de Glehn studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1890, receiving instruction from Gustave Moreau and Elie Delaunay. The following year Edwin Austen Abbey invited him to assist in painting the murals for the Boston Public Library at his house in Fairford, Gloucestershire. There he was introduced to John Singer Sargent, who became a life-long friend. De Glehn quickly became associated with a circle of Americans who made frequent visits to Europe. He knew the architects Stanford White, and Charles McKim, the collector Isabella Stewart Gardner, and the novelist Edith Wharton. He married a cousin of Henry James. After his marriage, he established a house on Cheyne Walk and there entertained members of the New English Art Club, including Henry Tonks and Wilson Steer. In the years before the second world war, he travelled widely throughout Europe with Sargent, often setting up his easel beside him.