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Frank Duveneck

American Painter and Printmaker

1848 - 1919


Frank_Duveneck_Bio_Pic

Frank Duveneck


Frank Duveneck was an American figure and portrait painter.

Duveneck was born in Covington, Kentucky, the son of German immigrant Bernard Decker. Decker died when Frank was only a year old and his widow remarried Joseph Duveneck. By the age of fifteen Frank had begun the study of art under the tutelage of a local painter, Johann Schmitt and had been apprenticed to a German firm of Church Decorators. While having grown up in Covington, Duveneck was a part of the German community in Cincinnati, Ohio, just across the Ohio River.

However, due to his Catholic beliefs and German heritage, he was an outsider as far as the artistic community of Cincinnati was concerned. In 1869 he went abroad to study with Wilhelm von Diez and Wilhelm Leibl at the Royal Academy of M√ľnich, where he learned a dark, realistic and direct style of painting. He subsequently became one of the young American painters-others were William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman, and Walter Shirlaw - who in the 1870's overturned the traditions of the Hudson River School and started a new art movement characterized by a greater freedom of paint application.

His work, at first ignored, when shown in Boston and elsewhere about 1875, attracted great attention, and many pupils flocked to him in Germany and Italy, where he made long visits. Henry James called him "the unsuspected genius" and at the age of 27 he was a celebrated artist. In 1878 Duveneck opened a school in Munich, and in the village of Polling in Bavaria. His students, known as the "Duveneck Boys", included Twachtman, Otto Bacher, Julius Rolshoven, and Herman Wessel.

In 1886 Duveneck married one of his students who was much admired by Henry James, Boston-born Elizabeth Boott. They lived in Bellosguardo for two years where she produced a son. She died later in Paris of pneumonia. Duveneck was devastated.


Frank Duveneck & Elizabeth Boott Duveneck: An American Romance, by Carol M. Osborne

Portrait of Elizabeth Boott: 1886

Portrait of Elizabeth Boott: 1886


Elizabeth Boott Duveneck: 1888

Elizabeth Boott Duveneck: 1888


Tomb Effigy of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck: 1891

Tomb Effigy of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck: 1891


Tomb of Elizabeth Duveneck

Tomb of Elizabeth Duveneck


After returning from Italy to America, he gave some attention to sculpture, and modeled a fine monument to his wife, now in the English cemetery in Florence. Despite this activity, Elizabeth's death marked a slowing in his productivity; a wealthy man, he chose to lead a life of relative obscurity. He lived in Covington until his death in 1919 and taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where some pupils of note were John Christen Johansen, M. Jean McLane, Edward Charles Volkert and Russel Wright.

In later years, he often spent summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Among his most famous paintings are 'Lady with Fan' (1873) and 'The Whistling Boy' (1872), both of which reveal Duveneck's debt to the dark palette and slashing brushwork of Frans Hals. His work can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Richmond Art Museum and the Kenton County Library in Covington, Kentucky. A portrait, 'Young Man with Tousled Hair' (the Street Urchin), now in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, was previously in the collection of Kurt Vonnegut.


Lady with Fan: 1873

Lady with Fan: 1873


Whistling Boy: 1872

Whistling Boy: 1872


Portrait of a Boy: 1872

Portrait of a Boy: 1872


Duveneck is buried at the Mother of God Cemetery, in Covington, Kenton County.

A life-size bronze statue depicting Duveneck stands in a small park at the intersection of Pike and Washington streets in Covington, Kentucky.

From: Wikipedia

Other Examples of Frank Duveneck's Works

A Child of the People: 1887

A Child of the People: 1887


A Child's Portrait

A Child's Portrait


Beachwoods at Polling: 1878

Beachwoods at Polling: 1878


Caucasian Soldier: 1870

Caucasian Soldier: 1870


Columbus before the Council of Salamanca

Columbus before the Council of Salamanca


F.B. Duveneck as a Child: 1890

F.B. Duveneck as a Child: 1890


Fellow Artist in Costume: ca 1880

Fellow Artist in Costume: ca 1880


Florentine Flower Girl: ca 1886

Florentine Flower Girl: ca 1886


Florentine Flower Girl: ca 1887

Florentine Flower Girl: ca 1887


The Florentine Girl: 1887

The Florentine Girl: 1887


Girl Reading: ca 1876

Girl Reading: ca 1876


Girl with Orange Shawl

Girl with Orange Shawl


Girl with Parasol: 1900

Girl with Parasol: 1900


Girl with Rake: 1884

Girl with Rake: 1884


Grand Canal in Venice: ca 1883

Grand Canal in Venice: ca 1883


Guard of the Harem (Study): 1879

Guard of the Harem (Study): 1879


Harbour Chioggia

Harbour Chioggia


He Lives by His Wits: 1878

He Lives by His Wits: 1878


Head of a Young Girl: ca 1878

Head of a Young Girl: ca 1878


Head of an Italian Woman: 1887

Head of an Italian Woman: 1887


Head of an Old Man: ca 1877-79

Head of an Old Man: ca 1877-79


Head of an Oriental Woman: 1880

Head of an Oriental Woman: 1880


Heads and Hands (Study): 1879

Heads and Hands (Study): 1879


Italian Courtyard: 1886-87

Italian Courtyard: 1886-87


Lady in Red: ca 1885

Lady in Red: ca 1885

Cincinnati's most famous artist, Frank Duveneck, was actually a Kentuckian raised on Greenup Street in Covington. In the history of American art, Duveneck's fame rests mainly on his early work, produced while studying at the Academy in Munich, Germany. Characterized by the use of dark colors, somber lighting, and expressive brushwork, Duveneck's best-known piece, The Whistling Boy, is an excellent example of his early style. By 1880 however, Duveneck was living primarily in Italy, where his approach to painting changed somewhat. Perhaps under the influence of Italian light and scenery he began to use brighter colors and more direct lighting techniques, also possibly reflecting the developments of the Impressionists. Using the strong complimentary colors red and green as well as dramatic brushstrokes, this portrait of an Italian peasant woman showcases Duveneck's later work.


Lady with a Red Hat

Lady with a Red Hat


Landscape at Polling: ca: 1876

Landscape at Polling: ca: 1876


Leslie Pease Barnum: 1876

Leslie Pease Barnum: 1876


Little Girl in Red Dress: 1890

Little Girl in Red Dress: 1890


Mary Cabot Wheelwright: 1882

Mary Cabot Wheelwright: 1882


Nude Standing: 1892

Nude Standing: 1892


Old Towl Brook Polling Bavaria: 1878

Old Towl Brook Polling Bavaria: 1878


Polling Landscape: 1881

Polling Landscape: 1881


Portrait of a Boy: 1882

Portrait of a Boy: 1882

Duveneck was one of many Americans who studied art in Munich rather than Paris to avoid the rigid structure of French academies. This image of a young boy in seventeenth-century costume is typical of his many rapidly painted portrait studies composed during a second trip to Germany. The artist's energetic style is apparent in the vigorous brushwork and dark tones, gleaned from his German teachers and from seventeenth-century Dutch painting.


Portrait of a Fellow Artist: 1870

Portrait of a Fellow Artist: 1870


Portrait of a Man
(Richard Creifelds): ca 1876

Portrait of a Man (Richard Creifelds): ca 1876


Portrait of a Woman with Black Hat: 1890

Portrait of a Woman with Black Hat: 1890


Portrait of Brother John: 1900

Portrait of Brother John: 1900


Portrait of Emil Carlson: ca 1884

Portrait of Emil Carlson: ca 1884


Portrait of Frances Schillinger Hinkle: 1875

Portrait of Frances Schillinger Hinkle: 1875


Portrait of Leon Lippert: 1930

Portrait of Leon Lippert: 1930


Portrait of Maggie Wilson: 1898

Portrait of Maggie Wilson: 1898


Portrait of Major Dillard H. Clark: 1877

Portrait of Major Dillard H. Clark: 1877


Portrait of Ralph Curtis: 1872

Portrait of Ralph Curtis: 1872


Portrait of William Merritt Chase: ca 1876

Portrait of William Merritt Chase: ca 1876


Profile of Girl with Hat: 1878

Profile of Girl with Hat: 1878


Reclining Nude

Reclining Nude


Reclining Nude: ca 1890

Reclining Nude: ca 1890


Seated Nude

Seated Nude


Sheltered Cove: ca 1915

Sheltered Cove: ca 1915


Siesta: 1887

Siesta: 1887


Siesta: ca 1887

Siesta: ca 1887


Squire Duveneck: 1877

Squire Duveneck: 1877


The Bridges - Florence: ca 1880

The Bridges - Florence: ca 1880


The Cobbler's Apprentice: 1887

The Cobbler's Apprentice: 1887


The Music Master: 1879

The Music Master: 1879


The Old Professor: 1871

The Old Professor: 1871


The Rialto Bridge: 1883

The Rialto Bridge: 1883


The Turkish Page: 1876

The Turkish Page: 1876


Venetian Fruit Market: 1884

Venetian Fruit Market: 1884


Villa Castellani: 1887

Villa Castellani: 1887


Villa Castellani Belloguardo: 1886-87

Villa Castellani Belloguardo: 1886-87


Walter Shirlaw: ca 1873

Walter Shirlaw: ca 1873


Washerwomen - Venice (Study): ca 1885

Washerwomen - Venice (Study): ca 1885


Water Carriers Venice: 1884

Water Carriers Venice: 1884


William Gedney Bunce: ca 1877-78

William Gedney Bunce: ca 1877-78


Woman with Forget Me Nots: 1876

Woman with Forget Me Nots: 1876


Source: Frank Duveneck Online

Source: Art Renewal Center


This page is the work of Senex Magister

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