While other late 19th century American painters were flocking to Paris for their training, returning with the influences of the Impressionists burning bright on their palettes, Kentucky-born Frank Duveneck, the son of a German Immigrant, studied at the Royal Academy of Munich, where he learned and equally new and painterly, but darker toned style of realism.
Many of his portraits were focused on bravura brushwork, with their backgrounds left rough and unfinished.
Duveneck’s work eventually attracted the attention of both patrons and prospective students, and he returned to Europe and established a school in Munich. He also traveled in Italy, painting particularly striking views of Venice, as well as creating a series of etchings, somewhat in the vein of Whistler’s. In italy, he brightened his palette, but restrained his bravura brushwork.
He was an influential teacher, whose students included John Henry Twachtman and John White Alexander. Duveneck was an associate and informal student of William Merritt Chase. and he associated with other well known artists of the time, painting portraits of several.
After the death of his wife, he returned to the U.S. where he taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. His legacy as both a painter and a teacher is still influential on numerous contemporary artists.