Edward Cucuel

Date/place of birth

August 6, 1875, San Francisco, California, United States

Day/place of death

April 18, 1954, Pasadena, California, United States

Edward Cucuel - Im Walde
Edward Cucuel - Im Walde

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Edward Cucuel biography

Edward Cucuel favoured painting women, preferably naked, occasionally dressed, and sometimes as portraits in the French Impressionist style, in his characteristic light-flooded sceneries. He also created impressive plein-air paintings of romantic Bavarian landscapes.

Edward Cucuel – Early activities as a newspaper illustrator; numerous study trips

Edward Cucuel was born in San Francisco on 6 August 1875. The son of a newspaper publisher, he had the opportunity at the age of 14 to work as an illustrator for the Examiner. This consolidated his artistic interest which ultimately led to studies at the art academy in San Francisco. He also attended the Académie Colarossi in Paris, the Académie Julian and the Académie des Beaux-Arts where he found an adept teacher in Jean-Léon Gérôme. In 1896, Edward Cucuel worked again as a newspaper illustrator, this time in New York. He only held this position for six months until his passion for art drove him to travel again, studying the Old Masters in France and Italy and practicing his talent. Further study trips followed to China, Japan, Spain, Ceylon and Algeria. 

Long-term stay in Munich; Leo Putz as mentor

Edward Cucuel also worked as an illustrator in Berlin and Munich and joined the artist group Die Scholle and also participated in exhibitions of the Munich Secession. He spent a total of four years in Chiemsee at Castle Hartmannsberg with his friend, the Tirol artist Leo Putz, whose imposing plein-air works made a great impression on him. The outbreak of the First World War did not encourage Cucuel to leave Germany, but instead created further paintings in Holzhausen in Ammersee where he set up his studio from 1914 to 1918. Via Munich he arrived in Starnberg where he created his famous Kahnbilder (boat pictures). Until the 1930s, Cucuel spent the summer months in Bavaria and the winters in New York. What the First World War could not do, was achieved by the Second: Edward Cucuel finally left Germany in 1938 and settled in Pasadena in California where he spent the rest of his life in great seclusion. 

Nudes, portraits and landscapes as artistic legacy

Edward Cucuel won prizes and awards for his art, whilst his painting Winter Sun was awarded the Silver Medallion at the World Exhibition in San Francisco in 1915. From 1912 he exhibited with the Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d’Automne and was a welcome guest at galleries in Berlin, Düsseldorf and New York. He style was especially colourful and strongly characterised by French Impressionism in his choice of motif, with portraits of women and especially nudes forming his central subject. The landscape surrounding his summer domicile in Munich and Starnberg also repeatedly inspired him to create impressive plein-air paintings, and also depicted social scenes. 

Edward Cucuel died on 18 April 1954 in his chosen retreat of Pasadena. His works can be admired today in numerous museums in America and Europe such as Liverpool, London, Detroit, Chicago and New York.

© Kunsthaus Lempertz

Edward Cucuel Prices

Edward CucuelIm Walde€118.800
Edward CucuelZwei sitzende Mädchen am Starnberger See (Two Girls sitting at Lake Starnberg)€96.800
Edward CucuelIm Atelier€89.280
Edward CucuelSchloß Hartmannsberg€49.980
Edward CucuelAuf dem See - Dame im gestreiften Kleid mit Sonnenschirm€49.600
Edward CucuelTräumerei (Damenbildnis)€45.000

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