Elizabeth Boott Duveneck
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The United States on the World Stage, 1865–1930
When creating this ensemble of four panel paintings, Elizabeth Boott Duveneck looked to the dramatically cropped, asymmetrical compositions of Japanese art. In 1853 trade was reestablished between the Western world and Japan for the first time in more than two hundred years. Art enthusiasts, particularly in Duveneck’s native Boston, quickly amassed large collections of Japanese art.
This is a rare work by Duveneck, whose career was cut short by her premature death, soon after her move to Paris to marry her former teacher, the painter Frank Duveneck.
Oil on wood panel
Individual panel: 35 15/16 x 9 15/16 in. (91.3 x 25.2 cm)
frame (individual frame): 43 1/8 x 17 1/8 x 1 7/8 in. (109.5 x 43.5 x 4.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed and dated at lower right of center panel: "ELB [monogram] / 1882"
Gift of Joan Harmen Brown, Mr. and Mrs. William Slocum Davenport, Mrs. Lewis Francis, Samuel E. Haslett, William H. Herriman, Joseph Jefferson IV, Clifford L. Middleton, the New York City Police Department, Mrs. Charles D. Ruwe, Charles A. Schieren, the University Club, Mrs. Henry Wolf, Austin M. Wolf, and Hamilton A. Wolf, by exchange, Frank Sherman Benson Fund, Museum Collection Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, John B. Woodward Memorial Fund, and Designated Purchase Fund
Elizabeth Boott Duveneck (American, 1846-1888). Apple Blossoms, 1882. Oil on wood panel, Individual panel: 35 15/16 x 9 15/16 in. (91.3 x 25.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Joan Harmen Brown, Mr. and Mrs. William Slocum Davenport, Mrs. Lewis Francis, Samuel E. Haslett, William H. Herriman, Joseph Jefferson IV, Clifford L. Middleton, the New York City Police Department, Mrs. Charles D. Ruwe, Charles A. Schieren, the University Club, Mrs. Henry Wolf, Austin M. Wolf, and Hamilton A. Wolf, by exchange, Frank Sherman Benson Fund, Museum Collection Fund, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, John B. Woodward Memorial Fund, and Designated Purchase Fund
, 2005.54.3 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2005.54.1_2005.54.2_2005.54.3_2005.54.4_2005.54.5_PS2.jpg)
group, 2005.54.1_2005.54.2_2005.54.3_2005.54.4_2005.54.5_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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The color palette this artist used was so dark. Is there a reason for that?
The color palette, as well as the specific plants Elizabeth Boott Duveneck painted here, were inspired by Japanese art. Duveneck painted these floral panels not long after Japan had opened to international trade after a long hiatus.
In Europe and the United States in the latter half of the 19th century, the trends of "Orientalism" and "Exoticism" swept the worlds of art and décor. Paintings like these would have been very marketable to a public looking to the East for aesthetic inspiration.