Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Not Too Naked..."

Portrait of Frank Duveneck, acid etched engraving by E.T. Hurley, 1916

“So at the old Art Academy I met only the janitor, old faithful Mike Lally, and also my teacher, Mr. Frank Duveneck…he suggested I go along with him down town…So under very good sponsorship I was admitted to the [Foucar’s] bar...Luncheon table---with chef white cap in attendance—huge platters, perhaps 20 different cheeses, relishes, salads, eggs, sliced poultry, hot ham and roast beef, sliced as desired; white bread, Schwarzbrod, pumpernickel; also on appropriate days fish, sea food. This magnificent smorgasbord always for free…Now above the fine wainscote an array of paintings—Cincinnatians, as I recall—a Twachtman and Robert Blum, Farny, Sharp, Meekin and others."

--Cincinnati Times-Star, Groverman Blake, March 26, 1957

“Over-the-Rhine saloon owners and operators outfitted many of their establishments in a way that made customers feel at home…Local artists received significant exposure at Foucar's: paintings by Duveneck, Sharp, and Farny, among others, adorned the walls of the saloon and stimulated conversation. Art was also a feature of another area drinkery, The Stag, where some twenty-five paintings were put up. The highlight of the Stag collection was The Sirens, an image of three maidens by the sea which was purchased in Paris for $5,000, but the painting emerged worse for wear when on one occasion an evening ruckus endowed it with a bullet hole.”

--Over the Barrel: The Brewing History and Beer Culture of Cincinnati, Volume Two,

'Siesta' (L) hanging in Foucar's and (R) The Stag Cafe & Hotel

“Possibly due to the emphasis on art generated by the Art Academy and the Art Club, it became possible to obtain nude models, and Duveneck painted a great many…One of his best known…he called ‘Siesta’…Theodore Foucar…hung it over the bar in his popular saloon in downtown Cincinnati…respectable ladies of the city…demanded its removal. Foucar cleverly donated the painting to the Art Museum saying, “That girl was too naked for my saloon, but she was not too naked for high society.”

--Northern Kentucky Heritage, Karl Lietzenmayer and Lisa Gillham, Vol. X, No. 1

Duveneck and CAA class sketch a live subject around 1900

"H.H. Wessel, 2152 Alpine Place, noted Cincinnati painter and former curator at the Cincinnati Art Museum, recently disclosed some of the history of Frank Duveneck’s famous picture ‘Siesta’…[Wessel] was a pupil of Duveneck and later a close friend…”The only model was a girl named Margie. I saw Duveneck painting the picture of her and I was present when she finished posing and he paid her off”…”The painting is not an ordinary barroom nude,“ he commented. “There were many such in those days which were not art”…another famous café painting…of Pauline Bonaparte which hung in the bar of the old St. Nicholas Hotel at Fourth and Race…is known as “The Pauline Of The Panties” in the art world because in it she is shown wearing that article of clothing.”

--Cincinnati Enquirer, David S. Austin, June 24, 1956

Duveneck's 'Siesta' and a wicked detail of The Pauline of the Panties

"In the St. Nicholas Hotel at Cincinnati a portrait by Devouge [Louis Benjamin Marie, 1770-1842] of Pauline Bonaparte occupies the place of honor...notices of this picture are freely distributed to the guests; one of them gives me this precious piece of information: 'It appears from this portrait that Pauline Bonaparte weighed 150 pounds, or a little more.' How obvious the ranchman’s experienced eye is here! This criticism by scale and yard measure—a grocer’s criticism."

--American Life, Paul de Rousiers, translated by A.J.Herbertson, 1892, Firmin-Didot & Co.

"Out of work and despondent, Cuba Moorette, 24 years old, artists’ model, is said to have swallowed poison tablets when in her room at 718 West Seventh street last night. Dr. Fred DeCourcey ordered her removal to the General Hospital. Physicians find her condition to be serious."

--Cincinnati Enquirer, December 7, 1916

Images: Arcadia Publishing; Cincinnati Art Museum;; S. Malloy; Ringling Museum, Sarasota

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