Illustration from Frank Duveneck by Norbert Heermann (1918)
Frank Duveneck
Date: American painter and printmaker, 1848–1919
Biography: The son of a German immigrant, Duveneck grew up as part of the German community around Cincinnati, Ohio. By age 15 he had begun to study with a local painter and was apprenticed to a German firm of church decorators. In 1869, he traveled abroad to study with Wilhelm von Diez and Wilhelm Leibl at the Royal Academy of Munich, where he learned to paint in a dark limited palette with direct, slashing strokes. Returning from Europe, he was one of the younger American painters, whose European training and bravura brushwork transformed American art in the 1870s. Teaching in Cincinnati, Munich, and Italy, he attracted dedicated students, including John Twachtman, Otto Bacher, and Julius Rolshoven, who became known as the "Duveneck boys." He married the Boston-born painter Elizabeth Boott in 1886, and they lived in Italy and Paris. Her death two years later from pneumonia devastated him. He returned to the Cincinnati where he taught at the Art Academy and lived a quiet life.