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Frank Duveneck

Artist (United States)
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About

Frank Duveneck (October 9, 1848 – January 3, 1919) was an American figure and portrait painter 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. In 1869 he went abroad to study with Wilhelm von Diez and Wilhelm Leibl at the Royal Academy of Munich, where he learned a dark, realistic and direct style of painting.

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.