Painter Frank Duveneck would transition from the Munich School, Realist style of painting to a more Impressionistic one towards the end of his career. He had initially trained as a church decorator, but after entering the Royal Academy in Munich he decided to work as a serious easel painter.
While he was studying he came under the influence of Realist painters Wilhelm von Diez and Gustave Courbet, whose bold brush strokes Duveneck immediately adopted. While living in Munich he shared a studio with William Merritt Chase.
He was successful early on, and returned to the United States in 1873 in the hopes of establishing a career. He took portrait commissions, did some church decoration and taught art classes, and an 1875 exhibition in Boston brought him some attention, but he decided to return to Munich only a year later.
He settled in Polling, Bavaria and began to teach his Munich style. He moved his school to Italy a few years later, and spent the summer of 1879 with James Whistler when they shared a studio in Venice. It was at this point that his dark palette and heavy paint application began to evolve into a more suitable "en plein air" technique, employing a lighter palette and looser brush work. He took on students of his own, including Elizabeth Boott, who he married in 1886.
After her death in 1888 he returned to the United States, taking a teaching post at the Cincinnati Art Academy. He summered in Massachusetts or took painting excursions back to Europe for the rest of his life.
He left the bulk of his estate to the Cincinnati Museum, which contains many of his finished paintings. Additionally, his works can be found in the collections of over sixty additional museums and galleries throughout the country.