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Frank Duveneck
Water Carriers, Venice
1884
oil
43 3/8 x 73 1/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Rev. F. Ward Denys



Duveneck offers an unexpected view of Venice, renowned for its atmospheric light and picturesque architecture, its canals and boats. These features in this work, however, only provide the backdrop for a scene from the city's workaday world—its water carriers. Duveneck was a popular artist and teacher who made Venice his chief subject between 1879 and 1889. In this scene he incorporated colorful local costumes and daily activities that were attracting many artists to the city.