Frank Duveneck

(Covington, Kentucky, 1848 - 1919, Cincinnati, Ohio)

North America, American

Born in 1848 in Covington, Kentucky, to German immigrant parents, Duveneck was apprenticed at age fourteen to two German church decorators. In 1870, he went to Munich and enrolled in the royal Academy of Fine Arts, adopting the slashing, bravura brushwork of the Munich School. Returning to Cincinnati in 1874, he resumed his work as a church painter and began teaching painting; his students included John Twachtman. The following year, Duveneck went to Boston where the press, including Henry James, greeted his painting with great enthusiasm. Despite his Boston success, Duveneck, with Twachtman, moved back to Germany in 1875, where he later formed his own school. Between 1882 and 1884, a neo-classical or “Italianate” style began to emerge in his art. On a visit to Paris in 1886, Duveneck married a Bostonian. In 1888, two years after giving birth to their son, his wife died unexpectedly. The following year, after leaving his son with his wife’s family, he returned to Cincinnati. He continued to paint and travel, turning to brightly colored, semi-Impressionist landscapes. Little serious attention has been given to the artist’s later work. In 1919 he died of throat cancer, an obscure, almost forgotten figure.

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