Frank Duveneck (1848-1919) was born in Covington, Kentucky, the son of German immigrant Bernhard Decker. 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 at the Royal Academy of Munich, where he learned a dark, realistic and direct style of painting. He subsequently became one of the young American painters—others were William Merritt Chase, John Henry Twachtman, Willis Seaver Adams and Walter Shirlaw—who in the 1870s overturned the traditions of the Hudson River School and started a new art movement characterized by a greater freedom of paint application.
Frank was instrumental in influencing many young and notable painters during his time at the Art Academy until his death. Artists are still inspired by his legacy today. Frank Duveneck’s paintings are in the collections of numerous museums and institutions. These include the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Taft Museum of Art, Akron Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art among others.
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