Frank Myers Boggs: From magazines to museums

By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
We hope that you enjoy this painting in our collection. If you visit the museum, this work is on view in the lobby corridor.


Frank Myers Boggs (American, 1855–1926)
Seine River, Paris, ca. 1910s‒20s
Oil on canvas
15.125″h x 21.75″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Sidney Levyne, A1473,66.0014

Seine River, Paris dramatically captures a fleeting moment along the French capital’s famed waterway. Frank Boggs carefully juxtaposed brilliant blue breaks in the clouds with the tumultuous, gray sky, perhaps conveying the passing of a storm as well as contrasting moods of gloom and hope. The tugboat, which spews smoke from its stack, adds an element of spontaneity to the scene, guides the viewer’s eye to the left, and rhythmically plays off the undulating ripples of the water.

Born in Springfield, Ohio, Boggs started out as an engraver for Harper’s magazine and later moved to Europe, working in France, England, the Netherlands, and Italy. Although he was acquainted with the work of Impressionists such as Claude Monet (1840–1926), Alfred Sisley (1839–1899), and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), he was more heavily influenced by the Dutch marine painter Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819–1891), whom he met in Paris in the late 1880s. In contrast to many of his Impressionist peers, he was especially attracted to the soft light of misty mornings and rainy afternoons rather than brilliant, sunlit scenes. As illustrated in mature works like Seine River, Paris, Boggs’ brushstrokes became looser and freer, and his palette lightened. Over the course of his career, he focused on painting marine subjects, riverscapes, and street scenes.

This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Martha Williams