Bacher first studied painting with DeScott Evans (1847-1898) in Cleveland. He continued his studies in the two European cities most popular with American art students of his day--Munich (at the Royal Academy and with the American painter Frank Duveneck [1848-1919]) and Paris (with Gustave-Clarence-Rodolphe Boulanger [1824-1888] and Jules-Joseph Lefebvre [1834/6-1912]).
In 1880 Bacher went to Venice with Duveneck and a group of American students known as “Duveneck’s Boys”--including John White Alexander (1856-1915), Joseph Decamp (1858-1923), Louis Ritter (1854-1892), and Theodore Wendel (1859-1932)--many of whom had studied with the influential teacher in Munich and Florence during the previous two years. Robert Frederick Blum and James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), the American artist whose work is most closely associated with Venice, were also active in the city during this period. Bacher and Duveneck shared an etching press with Whistler and produced prints that demonstrate his widely felt influence in the medium. In 1909 Bacher recounted his experiences during these years in his book With Whistler in Venice.
Although Bacher spent several additional months in Venice in the late 1880s, he was based for most of his career in New York. He exhibited his Venetian subjects, which occupied an important place in his oeuvre, at the Royal Academy in London in 1882, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1883, and at the National Academy of Design in New York in 1884 and 1888.
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