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The Boston Common

The Boston Common

Not on view
Frank Duveneck (American, 1848–1919)
about 1890
Oil on board
10 1/2 x 13 7/8 in. (26.7 x 35.2 cm)

A native of Kentucky, Frank Duveneck studied art in Cincinnati and then went to Munich to continue his training at the Bavarian Royal Academy. He became a vital force in Munich’s lively artists’ community, an experience that he repeated in Venice and elsewhere during subsequent travels to Europe.


In 1887, Duveneck married the artist Elizabeth Boott, daughter of a wealthy expatriate Bostonian who had a villa in Florence. Sadly, Elizabeth died only two years later, and Duveneck returned, briefly, to America. His familial connections prompted him to visit Boston where this painting is set. The rather melancholy style in which it is painted is undoubtedly a reflection of Duveneck’s grief.

Credit Line: 

Athenæum purchase, 2004

Object Number: