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Frank Duveneck
American
(1848 – 1919)

Frank Duveneck
Portrait of a German Peasant, 15"x12" (image);
23"x20" (framed under glass); characteristic monogram lower right
Frank Duveneck was born Frank Decker in Covington, Kentucky in 1848. He grew up among the German community in Cincinnati and apprenticed to a firm of German church decorators. In 1869, however, Duveneck went to Germany, where he studied under Wilhelm von Diez and Wilhelm Liebl at the Royal Academy of Munich from 1870 to 1873. Duveneck adopted the dark realism and bravura brushwork of the Munich style, which was tempered somewhat by the artist’s interest in the work of Gustave Courbet. Duveneck was back in the United States in the mid-1870’s and exhibited his work successfully in Boston in 1875. By the time of his return to Europe in 1877, Duveneck had become well known as one of several painters advocating a new style in contrast to that of the Hudson River painters. In Munich, the artist opened an art school and became a magnet for American painters wanting to study in Europe, who became known as the “Duveneck Boys.” Among his students were Joseph DeCamp, Theodore Wendel, and John Henry Twachtmann. Duveneck moved freely between Munich, Venice, and Florence and shared a studio briefly in Venice with James McNeil Whistler. He returned to the U. S. in 1889 after the death of his wife, artist Elizabeth Boott, the previous year. In his later years, he taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and frequently summered in Gloucester, Mass.

Duveneck’s work can be found in major museums throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Albright Knox Art Museum, the Fogg Art Museum (Harvard), the Chrysler Museum, and the Corcoran Gallery.


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