Spring Day, c. 1900-1910
Henry James described “the discovery of an unsuspected man of genius” when he saw Frank Duveneck’s (1848-1919) work at an exhibition in Boston in 1875. Duveneck began his artistic career in Cincinnati as a church muralist but soon scraped together the funds to travel to Munich to study. There he won an unprecedented number of awards and before long he began his own classes, attracting a group of young aspiring Americans. One of these was Lizzie Boott whose great-grandparents included both Harrison Gray Otis and Theodore Lyman. The two were married in 1886. After her early death two years later, Duveneck returned to Cincinnati, living in comparative obscurity. Around 1900 he began spending his summers in Gloucester, Mass., painting and teaching, and it may be there that he painted Spring Day.