Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Frank Duveneck and Portrait of Maggie Wilson

'Portrait of Maggie Wilson' (1898) by Frank Duveneck; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Today wasn't so difficult to choose a painting because I stumbled upon this portrait pretty quickly and stopped looking. The painter is American artist Frank Duveneck, born on October 9, 1848. When you see his paintings together (click here), the change in his colour palette is very evident. Duveneck started out painting realistic portraits against a dark background, as a result from his training at the Royal Academy in Munich. There he studied the style of the Old Masters like Velázquez. When he returned to Cincinatti, his style and technique became more conservative, more along the lines of academic painting, although his Munich background was still visible. After 1888, his style changed again. He was devastated after the death of his beloved wife and painter Elizabeth Boott, and started devoting his life to teaching, amongst others at the Cincinatti Fine Arts Academy. The paintings from this period are clearly inspired by Impressionism and show light and colour and expressive brushstrokes. The painting I chose for today is from this period. I think it is beautiful in colour and the woman with her penetrating eyes is very beautiful too.

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