Elizabeth Boott

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Elizabeth Boott
Elizabeth Boott Duveneck00.jpg
Born Elizabeth Otis Lyman Boott
April 13, 1846
Boston, Massachusetts
Died March 22, 1888
Florence, Italy
Nationality American
Education William Morris Hunt
Thomas Couture
Movement French Renaissance
Spouse(s) Frank Duveneck

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Otis Lyman Boott (April 13, 1846 – March 22, 1888) was an American artist. She was the daughter of the classical music composer, Francis Boott and Elizabeth (née Lyman) Boott. She married Frank Duveneck, her former teacher, and lived in the Villa Castellini in Florence.

Early life and education[edit]

Lizzie Boott Duveneck

Boott was born on April 13, 1846 in Boston, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of the classical music composer, Francis Boott and Elizabeth (née Lyman) Boott. Her mother, who died when she was 18 months old, was the eldest daughter of a Boston Brahmin, George Lyman and his first wife, who was the daughter of Harrison Gray Otis.[1][2]

Boott studied at the William Morris Hunt class for women in Boston, and with Thomas Couture outside Paris when she (and her father) spent a summer of study with Frank Duveneck, an artist she and her father admired, in Munich.

On March 25, 1886, in Paris, Boott married Duveneck. Following their wedding, they lived at the Villa Castellani with her father. Their son, Frank Boott Duveneck, was born on December 18, 1886. He became an engineer and married Josephine Whitney, the daughter of Henry M. Whitney.[1][2][3]

She lived later in Paris with her husband and son. She died there on March 22, 1888, of pneumonia.[1][3] Her memorial in Allori Cemetery in Florence was created by her husband's friend from Cincinnati, Clement Barnhorn in 1891 [4]

Villa Castellini in Florence[edit]

Cimitero degli Allori, Elizabeth Boott

Boott encouraged her teacher Frank Duveneck to move to Florence, with the idea of having him teach a class of women artists - instruction of a sort that was just then coming into vogue.[5]

In the fall of 1879, after nearly a decade in Munich, Duveneck moved to Florence and more than a dozen of his painter friends came with him. They settled at the Villa Castellani, now the Villa Mercede, at Bellosguardo, designed in the 15th century by a follower of Michelangelo and owned in the 19th by a Boston family, who rented out to friends the spacious apartments that surrounded the villa's arcaded center court.[5] It became a magnet for a lively group of male and female art students, and also attracted the attention of author Henry James, who wrote about her and her father's time at Villa Castellini in his novels, Portrait of a Lady and The Golden Bowl.[6]

Her first show was held in Boston at J. Eastman Chase's Gallery.[1][2][5]


  • 1883: American Water Color Society[5]
  • 1883: Boston Art Club[5]
  • 1883: National Academy of Design[5]
  • 1883: Boston Museum of Fine Arts[5]
  • 1883: Philadelphia Society of Artists[5]
  • 1884: Doll & Richards Gallery – Boston
  • 1886: Paris Salon[5]



Further reading[edit]

  • Osborne, Carol M. "Lizzie Boott at Bellosguardo", The Italian Presence in American Art, 1860-1920, Irma B. Jaffe, ed. New York: Fordham University Press and Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1992