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Edward Cucuel (American, 1875-1954)
Birth Place: San Francisco (San Francisco county, California, United States)
A native of San Francisco, Edward Cucuel spent the first fifteen years of his career searching for his artistic voice, studying the Old Masters at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and working as a newspaper illustrator in New York, but it was not until 1907 when he moved to Munich that he fell smitten with Impressionism. Here, Cucuel befriended the artist Leo Putz, leader of the anti-academic Die Scholle artists' group, and for several years, the two men painted together in a garden at Hartmannsdorf Castle west of Munich, each developing a distinctive Impressionist brand. By 1912, Cucuel found success exhibiting at the Paris Salons, and his paintings adopted the vibrant color and freer style of French Impressionism. His subjects ranged from nudes in bright interiors to open-air social scenes and charming Bavarian landscapes.
The lake landscapes of Munich, which Cucuel continued to frequent for decades, served as choice settings for his paintings of leisured women boating, napping, reading, or picnicking. However, in 1939, with the onset of World War II, Cucuel left Germany and settled in Pasadena, California, where he lived until his death in 1954. His works can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit Institute of Arts; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; National Academy Museum, New York; and Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, among other notable institutions.
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