Advanced Search

Seated Nude

Not on view

Seated Nude

Artist: Frank Duveneck (American, 1848-1919)

Date: 1890-1892
Medium: Graphite on wove paper
Overall: 9 3/8 × 6 1/8in. (23.8 × 15.6cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 88.13.2
Text Entries

This work was originally in a sketchbook of drawings by Duveneck containing chiefly nude female and male figures in a variety of studio poses.(1) There is no information in the sketchbook to indicate when or where any of the drawings were made.(2) More than likely they were executed in the early 1890s when Duveneck was the instructor of a life class at the art academy in Cincinnati.(3)

If the drawings in the sketchbook are a reliable indication, Duveneck’s class appears to have been organized around the traditional academic principle that artistic expression is based on mastery of drawing the nude human body.(3) The students enrolled in Duveneck’s class would have found encouragement for their efforts in the article Kenyon Cox published at this time in Scribner’s Magazine, where he asserted that all successful figurative art was based on a thorough knowledge of the human form and that the figure is the most effective communicator of abstract ideas.(4)


1. Another drawing, Female Figure Study, with dimensions similar to the MWPI sheet, is in the collection of the Huntington Library and Art Gallery. See Susan Danly, American Drawings and Watercolors from the Huntington Collections (San Marino, Calif: The Huntington Library and Art Gallery, 1988), 21, illus.

2. Betty Krulick, Ira Spanierman Gallery, New York, conversation with author, November 6, 1992.

3. Bruce Weber, “Frank Duveneck and the Art Life of Cincinnati, 18654900," in The Golden Age: Cincinnati Painters of the Nineteenth Century Represented in the Cincinnati Art Museum (Cincinnati: Cincinnati Art Museum, 1979), 29. See also Robert Neuhaus, Unsuspected Genius: The Art and Life of Frank Duveneke (San Francisco: Bedford Press, 1987), 118—24.

4. Joshua C. Taylor, “The Academic Tradition," in Lois Marie Fink and Joshua C. Taylor, Academy: The Academic Tradition in American Art (Washington, D.C.: National Collection of Fine Arts, 1975), 13.

5. Will H. Low and Kenyon Cox, “The Nude in Art," Scribner’s Magazine 12, December 1892, 747-48.


No known copyright restrictions.