Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Frank Duveneck

Frank Duveneck 1848-1919 was a pivotal figure in American painting. Raised in Covington Kentucky, near Cincinnati, he studied in painting in Munich. We are so aware today of the generations of painters who trained in Paris, but a generation earlier many American painters went to Germany, usually Munich or Dusseldorf to study. The German style was dark and used expressive brushwork of brushwork.

A generation of young Americans returned from Europe in the 1870's and overthrew the Hudson River school. Duveneck was one, William Merritt Case was another. In the mid 1870's Duveneck developed a reputation that drew students to him on his European trips. In 1878 Duveneck started a school in Bavaria.

In 1886 Duveneck married and several years later was widowed. This had an enormous effect on him and he returned to Covington, Kentucky and taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Duveneck trained a number of artists who were important in the coming generation. Some of them were John Twachtman, Kenyon Cox, Theodore Wendell, Robert Blum, Joseph DeCamp and Herman Wessell.

In later years Duveneck spent his summers in the art colony at Gloucester, Massachusetts.


Caroline Bray Art said...

These paintings are wonderful and I love that they bring to light the pre-Paris-fad German influence on art. Munich and Berlin are two of my favourite cities to see art, particularly German art from the late 19th century, with Munich having some of my favourite galleries in the world. I think it has an underappreciated influence, no doubt for political reasons and perhaps for the creative darkness that followed in the 1920s onwards with movements such as the neue sachlichkeit. Phenomenal, but not to everyone's taste. Picasso's post-WWI neo-classical are, perhaps, much more easy going on the palette of the masses.

billspaintingmn said...

These paintings are wonderful! The women with the rake on her shoulders, and the little kid with the dirty bare feet.. I guess I would move the eifle tower too, to be able to do paintings like these.
Stape, you're a well of information. A real go to guy. I can't thank you enough for all the help and support you entertain us with.
Now I want to research Frank Duveneck, Thanks!

Kyle V Thomas said...

Fantastic. I was not aware of the artists studying in Germany. Me thinks it's time to delve into some 19th century American art history.
Thanks Stape.

Jeremy Elder said...

Yet another gap in my grasp of art history filled. Thanks, this guy is great!

Lucy said...

You get the feeling that the deep blacks and dark grays of the Munich school were used as design elements, juxtaposed with the light and color.
Very dramatic work. great brush handling.
Thanks for posting yet another interesting and informative piece about a really important artist.

Deb said...

oh man, these are luscious.. That second one has such a fabulous sense of light.. unity of effect for sure.
I rather like the study (first photo) better than the finished work (last photo).. the brushwork and cooler light just sings...

Stapleton Kearns said...

I wish there was more of that art on display around the U.S. I would like to know it better.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks again, your comments help me get to my computer every night.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I love 19th century painting.There are books about it now, until recently it was hard to study.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Can a guy your height shop at the gap?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thats right.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I like that one better too.

Linda Crank said...

The Cincinnati Art Museum has a number of paintings on display by Frank Duveneck, his students and other prominent Cincinnati artists of that time. It is a pleasure to visit and study their work in the five room Cincinnati Wing of the museum. One thing that strikes me about Duveneck's work is the confidence and excellence of his drawing and painting. At times his work is surprisingly loose and unfinished which allows you to clearly see how he approached his work. Too tired to write anything more right now...but suffice it to say his influence is still felt in Cincinnati.

Caroline Bray Art said...

Stape, you'll just have to make a trip to Munich. You see, it's not just about the collections but also the architecture of the museums within which the art is displayed - it's some of the best I've ever seen. The Pinakotheken museums are phenomenal. And there's Villa von Stuck which is fantastic and the Haus der Kunst which has a sobering history (esp. when considered relative to the Entartete Kunst and Great German Art exhibitions of 1937) but serves as a fantastic lesson in the power of art when employed for political purposes. And of course, Munich is a living museum in terms of modern history, all of which feeds your experience of the art. I could go on...I think you should organise a plein air painting trip there...!

Anonymous said...

Duveneck was an awesome artist. He has one painting at the Deyoung in SF that is of an african American male. Great work, Thanks for the post as always.