The Boston Common


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