Memorial to Elizabeth Boott Duveneck

Frank DuveneckJuly 1891

Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum
Cincinnati, United States

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Boott Duveneck was born in Boston, grew up in a setting of refinement and erudition outside Florence, Italy at the Villa Castellani, which was frequented by the expatriate colony of artists and writers. A painter of still-life and genre subjects, Boott had studied with William Morris Hunt and Thomas Couture. Impressed by Duveneck's robust works, she sought him out and, in 1879 studied with him in Munich. Boott and Duveneck married in 1886 over the protests of her jealous father, Francis Boott, who found the Kentuckian’s manners coarse. The Duvenecks' happiness, however, was short-lived. On March 22, 1888, during a visit to Paris, Lizzie died of pneumonia, leaving her husband devastated.

In 1891 Duveneck made this plaster model for a bronze effigy to be placed on Elizabeth’s grave in the Allori Cemetery, near Florence. Because Duveneck had no training in sculpture, Clement J. Barnhorn, the French-educated Cincinnati sculptor, assisted him. Lizzie’s friend Henry James described the finished work, which was inspired by Gothic and early Renaissance tomb sculptures, as “a Knight’s Lady in death.” The face, with its peaceful expression, appears as if in sleep. The body is shrouded in simple drapery and adorned with a palm branch symbolizing triumph over death. In 1895 Duveneck donated this plaster to the Art Museum after creating a marble version, now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for Francis Boott.


  • Title: Memorial to Elizabeth Boott Duveneck
  • Creator: Frank Duveneck (American, b.1848, d.1919)
  • Creator Lifespan: 1848-10-09/1919-01-03
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • Creator Birth Place: Covington, Kentucky, United States
  • Date Created: July 1891
  • Location Created: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • Sculptor: Clement J. Barnhorn (American, b.1857, d.1935)
  • Physical Dimensions: 28 3/4 x 40 7/16 x 85 9/16 in. (73 x 102.6 x 217.3 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Frank Duveneck
  • Alternate Titles: Memorial to Elizabeth Boott Duveneck (1846-1888); Memorial to Elizabeth Duveneck; Tomb of Duvenek; Memorial to Mrs. Duveneck; Elizabeth Boott Duveneck Memorial; Funerary Effigy of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck; Monument funéraire de Mme. Elisabeth Boott Duveneck; Tomb of Mrs. Duveneck, Tomb Effigy of Elizabeth Duveneck; Tomb Effigy of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck; Sarcophagus of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck
  • Accession Number: 1895.146
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: plaster

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