Taft Museum of Art Unveils Painting by Cincinnati Artist Frank Duveneck in New Exhibition

February 22nd, 2014  |  Published in Announcements


The Taft Museum of Art has unveiled Portrait of an Italian Woman by 19th-century Cincinnati artist Frank Duveneck.

A recent gift from Stanley and Frances D. Cohen, this painting is featured in Small Paintings from the Taft Collection, on view until June 22, 2014.

Born in Covington, Kentucky, Duveneck became an influential teacher in Munich, Germany; Florence, Italy; and Cincinnati. While painting and teaching in Florence between 1879 and 1888, Duveneck hired local Italian peasants to serve as models for oil studies like Portrait of an Italian Woman.

In his earlier work, such as The Cobbler’s Apprentice, also in the Taft collection, Duveneck placed studio-lit figures before heavily shadowed backgrounds. By contrast, Portrait of an Italian Woman, painted early during Duveneck’s stay in Italy, reveals a new interest in atmospheric light and more vivid colors. A direct and factual image, the portrait study avoids sentimentality and reveals the artist’s roots in 19th-century realism.

“The Taft is thrilled about this recent gift to our collection,” said Deborah Emont Scott, Director/CEO, Taft Museum of Art. “It really shows off Duveneck’s virtuosity as a painter, and provides a terrific counterpoint to our earlier work by the artist.”

Also included in the exhibition is a group of diminutive oils featuring landscape, portrait, and figure paintings by 18th- and 19th-century artists from the United States, France, and Holland.

According to Lynne Ambrosini, chief curator, Taft Museum of Art, “This is an opportunity to see works that are typically in storage. These little gems not only highlight European and American tastes during the 19th century but also offer a glimpse into artists’ creative interests during the period.”

Talk: Duveneck Abroad
Thursday, March 10, 7:00 p.m.
Dr. Julie Aronson, curator of American painting, sculpture and drawings at the Cincinnati Art Museum, will discuss the artistic journey of Frank Duveneck, focusing on his time in Italy. The exhibition Small Paintings from the Taft Collection featuring the portrait study An Italian Woman by Duveneck will be open 6 – 7 p.m.

FREE Members and Students, $10 Public (includes exhibition admission)
Reservations required: (513) 684-4515 or www.taftmuseum.org

Exhibition Support Generously Provided By: Ellen and George Rieveschl Endowment
Season Sponsor: The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation
ArtsWave Partner: GE Aviation

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