Graves graduated from the Maryland Art Institute where he studied with the noted Joseph Shepard and Frank Russell. He continued his studies with Richard Serrin at the Villa Schifanoia Graduate School of Fine Art in Florence, Italy and later apprenticed under Nerina Simi who maintained a classical nineteenth-century studio there. Simi was the daughter of the Florentine painter Filadelfo Simi who had been a student of Jean-Leon Gerome, the head of the French Academy in Paris in the 1870s. With such a rich background of training, Graves has evolved a personal style of oil painting that adroitly fuses the classical heritage of Old Master’s achievements with his own contemporary point of view.
Daniel Graves joined Charles Cecil to found Studio Cecil-Graves in Florence, which trained many practitioners of classical realism for nearly a decade. In1991 Graves founded the highly regarded Florence Academy of Art which has been in the forefront of classical realist art education and has trained a generation of prominent painters.
In April 2008, Daniel Graves and the Florence Academy received the Excellence in Art Education Award from the Portrait Society of America. When not teaching, Graves is an active painter of portraits and still lifes in his studio in Florence and during his extensive world wide travels. His work is in notable public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad.
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