Evans, De Scott – American Artist

De (David) Scott Evans (1847-1889)

An important portrait and trompe l’oeil painter, David Scott Evans was born in 1847 in Boston, Indiana and as a young man taught music and art at Smithson College in Logansport, Indiana. He changed his name to De Scott Evans in 1870 after a trip to France during which he allegedly suffered an identity crisis (but may have been merely trying to avoid his creditors). In 1873 he moved to Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio where he chaired the art department. In 1874 he opened a studio in nearby Cleveland and joined in founding the city’s first art club. Eventually Evans taught at the Cleveland Academy of Fine Art, which was founded in 1883.

Evans studied at Miami University in Oxford, as well as in Cincinnati (1864) with Albert Bouguereau, and under William A. Bouguereau in Paris at the Academe Julian in Paris (1877). He exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1881 to 1896, the Brooklyn Academy of Art in 1891 and at the Tennessee Centennial Exhibition in 1897. His work appears in numerous public and academic collections.

Evan’s provided ample work for art historians in his practice of using differing names to sign his work. As a portrait and genre painter in Cleveland he signed as “De Scott Evans”. He is also known to have painted several trompe l’oeil works signed as “De Scott Evans” or “D. Scott Evans”. A number of scholar’s also attribute to him trompe l’oeil works signed “S.S. David”, “Stanley S. David”, “Scott David” and simply “David”. These are often works of almonds or peanuts with a simulated wood background, complete with knotholes and splits.

In 1889 Evans sailed to Europe with his family to accept a commission in Paris. Tragically he and his family were drowned during the 1898 wreck of the S.S. Burgoyne in the Atlantic Ocean.

In today’s market, he is most well known for his remarkable trompe l’oeil still life’s, but at the time, he was a popular painter of portraits, as well as interiors with female figures.

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