Otto Henry Bacher


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference


Painter, printmaker, and illustrator. Remembered for scenic prints of Venice, while there in the 1880s he also painted views of the city and its picturesque inhabitants. Later he worked primarily as a portraitist and figure painter, animating solidly constructed forms with impressionist effects of light. He also painted landscapes and still lifes. Born in Cleveland, in 1878–79 he studied at Munich's Royal Academy before entering Frank Duveneck's classes. Along with convivial young artists dubbed the “Duveneck boys” and their leader, Bacher relocated to Florence in the fall of 1879. The following summer he and others in the circle moved to Venice. Except for a few months in Florence the next winter, he remained for more than two years. While there, Bacher worked closely with James Abbott McNeill Whistler, perfected his etching technique, and produced about forty prints as well as some paintings. Bacher had taken up etching in his early days in Cleveland, but Whistler provided new impetus to his development. Although, like Duveneck, Bacher favored heavier lines and more solid forms than his new mentor, he followed Whistler's example in picturing commonplace, out-of-the-way scenes in casually organized, sometimes fragmentary compositions. After briefly visiting Whistler in London, at the end of 1882 he returned to Cleveland. During summers, he taught one of the nation's first plein air painting classes at nearby Richfield. He went to Paris for additional study in 1885 and in the summer of the following year moved to Venice for about six months. Again, at the beginning and end of this final sojourn abroad, he visited Whistler in London. Within a few years after returning to Cleveland, he settled in New York. He died in Bronxville, a nearby suburb where he had resided for a number of years. In 1908 he published a memoir, With Whistler in Venice.

Subjects: Art.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.