Portrait of a Italian woman by American impressionist painter David Rosenthal (American, 1876-1949), c. 1900. Estate stamp on verso. Image, 11"H x 17.5"L.
David Rosenthal was a Cincinnati artist who was known as an American Impressionist. He studied at the Art Academy of Cincinnati with Frank Duveneck, Lewis Meakin, and Joseph Henry Sharp. After finishing, Rosenthal traveled to Munich to study with G. Flad and Azbe and exhibited at the Kuenstler Verein. He won a scholarship at the Belle Arts in Rome, became a member of the Cirelo Internationale, and continued his studies at the Academy of Milan in Florence.
During his extended residence in Europe, Rosenthal moved in artistic circles from Munich to Rome. Several European sketchbooks still exist from this time, and show the skillful facility fostered by his academic background. Italian and German landscape scenes figure prominently in his early oils, which are dated around 1890 and designate Italian cities and towns on the back of canvases. Some of his etchings from a later period are probably based on earlier European sketches and also occasionally have European places written on them.
Upon returning home during the early 1900s to the 1920s, Rosenthal came into demand as a portrait painter. An article in 1905 Cincinnati newspaper shows a photograph of him painting in his studio, featuring his popularity with the elite of Cincinnati and Chicago. He continued exhibiting and selling his work, including a portrait of Ohio Governor Salmon P. Chase for the State Capital in Columbus.
There are also several series of portrait etchings of prominent composers, presidents, and people distinguished in other fields. Rosenthal's etching of Franklin Roosevelt is found in the White House Collection. Other work can be found in the Chicago Institute of Art, the New York Public Library, among others.
At various times during his career he maintained studios in Florence, Miami, Cape Ann, and Cincinnati. He sketched and painted landscapes of all of these cities as they provided easily recognizable subject matter for his later work. After this period, he concentrated primarily on etchings and mezzo and aquatints and in 1939 he shared a studio with Max Pollak who was an etcher and printer of other artists in Cincinnati. Rosenthal's style and subject matter ranged from famous people to intricate landscapes, to social commentaries of the time. His forte was capturing the essential spirit of the subjects he painted or etched.