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Painter of landscapes, portraits and floral still lifes, Elizabeth Otis Lyman Boott Duveneck, known as “Lizzie,” was born in 1846 in Boston. Her mother was Elizabeth Otis Lyman, daughter of George Williams Lyman. Mr. Lyman was engaged in cotton manufacturing and a partner in the founding of the City of Lowell, Massachusetts. Elizabeth’s father was Francis Boott, a composer who wrote operas and set to music the poetry of Tennyson, Longfellow, and Lowell. Elizabeth’s mother died when she was only a year and two months old. Francis Boott left Elizabeth and her wet nurse with an aunt in Newport, Rhode Island for four months before taking her to Italy. She spent her childhood with her father at the Villa Castellani at Bellosguardo, near Florence, and in Rome. An early drawing teacher was Greek-born history painter, Giorgio Mignaty, whom her father hired as a tutor. In 1865, after the close of the Civil War, Boott and her father returned to the United States. She studied with William Morris Hunt in Boston beginning in 1869; summers with Hunt’s former teacher, Thomas Couture, at his home Villiers-le-Bel outside of Paris between 1876 and 1878; and with Frank Duveneck—whom she married in 1886—in Munich and in Florence, 1879-80. In 1881 Boott and three female artist friends from Hunt’s class traveled to Spain to paint and study the great masters. In 1883 she made a painting trip to South Carolina. Returning to Europe in 1885, Boott studied in Paris at the Académie Julian with Tony Robert-Fleury and William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and with Felix Henri Giacomotti. Boott worked in both oil and watercolor, and maintained studios at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome during the winter of 1872-73 and the Villa Castellani at Bellosguardo. In 1887 she and her husband and infant son moved to Paris. Boott Duveneck died suddenly of pneumonia in 1888. Her work was exhibited at the American Watercolor Society; Boston Art Club; National Academy of Design; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Centennial of 1876; the Royal Academy in London; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Doll & Richards Gallery and Williams & Everett Gallery, Boston; and the Paris Salons of 1886 and 1888.

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