The Death of a Brother--The End of his Art
"Luques had come to that point in his development where he was about to express in the terms of his art what he had it in him to say."
Two questions drive my interest in The Judge's brother, Frank Luques, who died at age 32 when he drowned in the Saco River in Maine. The first is my interest, and perhaps empathy, for an artist who did not get to fulfill his potential. What art did Frank leave us that has gone unnoticed because the arc of his career and reputation never reached its peak? What would he have created had he lived into his 40's, 50's, and beyond?
The second question is more practical. If I'm researching how it is that I now live in The Judge's house, I need to understand why The Judge, and not any other relative, inherited it. The fact that Frank died, unmarried and childless, in 1895 obviously eliminates his claim on the house. But his art, and what it tells us about the Luques, is like a thread to follow into the past that takes us into the art world at the turn of the century in New York, Boston and Europe and into the museums where we may find it. It also may explain why The Judge was friends with Abbott Fuller Graves and Louis Norton, artists with whom he may have felt some reminder of his lost brother.
Boston Globe, August 9, 1895
Nothing captures the essence of Frank life this entry I found in the Secretary's report for the Harvard class of 1886.
Twenty years after their graduation, the class secretary listed updates on the men, including passages on those who had died.
Frank Luques's entry is particularly tender, if I can use that word to describe what is otherwise a who's who of and elite group of men. Read the entry below and you'll see a reference to his work "The Feast of Glaucus."
I needed to find some way to see this painting.
I just found it.
More in the next entry....
Also in the next blog post, a bit about the showing Frank was part of at The Boston Art Club in 1891. Who else had his work there? A few who were about to become icons.