Elizabeth Boott

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Elizabeth Boott
Elizabeth Boott Duveneck00.jpg
Elizabeth Otis Lyman Boott

April 13, 1846
DiedMarch 22, 1888
Florence, Italy
EducationWilliam Morris Hunt
Thomas Couture
MovementFrench Renaissance
SpouseFrank Duveneck

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Otis Lyman Boott (April 13, 1846 – March 22, 1888) was an American painter of still lifes, landscapes, and portraits. 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 composer Francis Boott and Elizabeth (née Lyman) Boott. Her mother, who died when she was 18 months old, was the eldest daughter of Boston Brahmin George Lyman and his first wife, who was the daughter of Harrison Gray Otis.[1][2]

Boott was raised by her father in Italy. The pair returned to Boston in 1865.[3]

Boott enrolled at the William Morris Hunt class for women in Boston in 1869, and also studied with Thomas Couture outside Paris for three consecutive summer (1876-1878).[3] She (and her father) also spent the summer of 1879 studying with Frank Duveneck, an artist she and her father admired, in Munich.[3]

Boott work was shown in multiple exhibitions throughout the United States in the early 1880s.[3] Her first solo show was held in Boston at J. Eastman Chase's Gallery in 1882.[1][2][4]

On March 25, 1886, in Paris, Boott married Duveneck. The two had been engaged off and on since 1881.[3] 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][5]

She lived later in Paris with her husband and son. She died there on March 22, 1888, of pneumonia.[1][5] Her memorial in Allori Cemetery in Florence was created by her husband's friend from Cincinnati, Clement Barnhorn in 1891 [6]

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.[4]

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.[4] 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.[7]


  • 1883: American Water Color Society[4]
  • 1883: Boston Art Club[4]
  • 1883: National Academy of Design[4]
  • 1883: Boston Museum of Fine Arts[4]
  • 1883: Philadelphia Society of Artists[4]
  • 1884: Doll & Richards Gallery – Boston
  • 1886: Paris Salon[4]



  1. ^ a b c d "ElizabethBoottDuveneckBio". Maryrangallery.com. Archived from the original on 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  2. ^ a b c "Cincinnati Art Museum: The Cincinnati Wing". Cincinnati.com. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hirshler, Erica E. (2001). A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940. MFA Publications. pp. 175–176.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Frank Duveneck & Elizabeth Boott Duveneck: An American Romance, by Carol M. Osborne". Tfaoi.com. 2000-10-24. Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  5. ^ a b Singer, Sandra L. Adventures Abroad, IAP, pp. 167–168, 2009. ISBN 978-1-60752-073-3
  6. ^ "The Statue of Angels, (Sculpture)".
  7. ^ "AMERICANS IN FLORENCE - Villa Castellani". demo.netribe.it. Retrieved 2017-03-26.

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