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The Greatest Brush recounts the extraordinary life of an American artist, Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), whose versatility and talent have awed art lovers for generations. Successful as a young painter in Europe, an adherent of the Realism style, Duveneck excelled in portraiture, won prizes for his Rembrandt-like canvases, and founded schools for painters in Munich and Florence. He and his students, the Duveneck Boys, were the toast of Florence, then the capital of Italy. No one-trick pony, Duveneck adapted his natural abilities to landscapes, etching, sculpture, murals, and to new trends. All along during this late Victorian period he and his works fascinated the artistic world and the intelligentsia of the day. John Singer Sargent referred to him as “the greatest brush” of their generation. Duveneck, the product of Midwestern pioneer parents, received schooling in art fundamentals from Benedictine monks who put him to work like a medieval apprentice as a teen-aged church decorator. After his discovery in Boston at an 1875 exhibition, Duveneck spent most of the next decade and a half in Europe. In 1886, after an on-and-off romance, he married an artist-expatriate, Boston-born Elizabeth Lyman Boott, a textile industry heiress. Her death two years later short-circuited his career, leaving him a wealthy yet wounded man. In time he recovered to produce a memorial effigy to Elizabeth, one of his greatest works. He turned to new styles of painting during summers as Gloucester, Massachusetts, and launched a second teaching career in Cincinnati. In 1915 he won recognition from his international peers for the work of his brush and his unique contribution to American art.
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Book Description Branden Books, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0828326096