Majestic and Perennial Bronze

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Frank Duveneck (1848–1919)
Tomb Effigy of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, 1891
Bronze and gold leaf
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1927
Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

Following the premature death of his wife in March 1888, Duveneck set about memorializing her. The tomb effigy was made by Duveneck in Covington, Kentucky, with the aid of the sculptor Clement Barnhorn and placed in the Allori Cemetery outside Florence, where it remains. Duveneck drew upon an early-fifteenth-century figure by Jacopo della Quercia from the cathedral in Lucca. In 1894, James wrote to Elizabeth’s father: “In Florence, where I spent a few days on my way to Rome, I made an intensely pious pilgrimage to the spot where Lizzie lies in majestic and perennial bronze. Strange, strange it seemed, still to see her only so—but so she will be seen for ages to come.” Duveneck made several life-size versions of the effigy in bronze and marble.