ART 4 2-DAY 25 July v.9.50
>Born on 25 July 1870: Maxfield
Age painter, illustrator, and designer, who died on 30 March 1966. —
Relative of David Parrish [1939~]? of Stephen Parrish?
— Parrish received early training in painting and etching from his father, the painter and printmaker Stephen Parrish [1846–1938]. Parrish studied architecture at Haverford College, PA (1888–1891), but changed to painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; he simultaneously attended classes given by the great Brandywine illustrator Howard Pyle [1853–1911] at the Drexel Institute, Philadelphia (although he was not registered there). Inspired by the graphic style of such artists as Alphonse Mucha, he created posters, cover designs and illustrations for popular US periodicals, including Harper’s Weekly, The Century, Collier’s and Scribner’s Magazine (e.g. lithograph, cover for Scribner’s Mag., August 1897).
The dominant influence, however, on most US illustrators of the era, including Parrish, was Pre-Raphaelite painting. Parrish’s characteristic subject-matter included woodland scenes, populated by fairies, medieval maidens and knights in armour. Working from photographs, he developed a richly colored palette, becoming noted for his ‘Maxfield Parrish blue’ and his meticulous attention to detail.
He illustrated calendars and books, including The Golden Age (1895) and Dream Days (London) by Kenneth Grahame. In 1898 Parrish moved permanently to New Hampshire, where, in Plainfield, he designed and built his home, The Oaks (1898–1906), architectural features of which frequently appeared in his work. He exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris (1900) and at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, NY (1901). He also painted a number of large murals for hotels and clubs in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco, the most celebrated of which was Old King Cole (1906, 112x335cm). Colored prints and calendars adapted from his paintings sold in millions during his lifetime.
— Villa Gamberaia, Settignano (1903, 72x47cm; 1148x720pix, 635kb _ ZOOM to 2152x1511pix, 2668kb)
— Dream Castle in the Sky (1908, 183x333cm; 720x1275pix, 716kb _ ZOOM to 1520x2693pix, 3110kb).
–- (snowy landscape at dusk) (2012x2476pix, 293kb)
— From The Story of Snow White (1912; 1937x1535pixels, 464kb)
–- Dream Garden (750x2305pix, 244kb)
— Waterfall (1930)
— The Dinky Bird (1904; 871x635pix, 95kb)
–- S#> The Old Glen Mill (800xpix, 122kb)
–- A Christmas Toast (1400x995pix, 70kb)
–- Autumn Woods (1400x866pix, 207kb)
–- S#> Romance: Aucassin Seeks For Nicolette (800x553pix, 78kb)
–- Spring (1356x1145pix, 84kb) a gardener looks happily at a newly sprouted potted plant.
— 107 images at ARC — 57 images at Ciudad de la Pintura — 42 images at CGFA
Born on 25 July 1844: Thomas Couperthwaite
Eakins, Philadelphian Realist
painter, photographer, teacher, who died on 25 June 1916.
— He had many and varied interests, and they all found their way into his pictures. He was an eager student of anatomy, attending lectures at local medical schools even while completing his artistic training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia's doctors and professors of medicine figure prominently among the subjects of his portraits. He was fascinated by perspective, optics, and stop-motion photography, and used perspective studies and photography in planning his oils and watercolors. He enjoyed music and often painted rehearsals, home musicales, and professionals in concert.
Most recognized for insightful, powerful portraits. Controversial teacher; a powerful influence upon Robert Henri. 1862-1866 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; 1864-1865 attended anatomy classes at Jefferson Medical College; 1866-1869 École des Beaux-Arts under Gérôme and Bonnat; 1869-1870 in Spain, influenced by Velázquez and Ribera; 1870 returned to Philadelphia, resided there rest of his life; 1872-1875 produced major sculling and sailing works; 1875 first teaching position at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; painted Portrait of Professor Gross (The Gross Clinic); 1876 The Gross Clinic rejected as a work of art [too gross?] but exhibited in US Army Post Hospital at 1876 Centennial Exposition; 1877 left Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts but returned in 1878; 1878-1882 gained increasing reputation for instruction, for direct teaching of anatomy from human dissection; 1882 became director of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; 1884 married his student, Hannah Susan MacDowell; February 15, 1886 four years' controversy over his didactic methods and use of nude models culminated in his resignation from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; February 22, 1886 founded Philadelphia Art Students' League with nucleus of former students from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; this small group was active for the next seven years; 1886 during ten weeks in summer and autumn lived the life of a cowboy in Badlands of the Little Missouri (southwestern North Dakota); 1888-1889 painted The Agnew Clinic; 1896 had his only lifetime one-man show (Philadelphia); 1899 death of his father provided an inheritance with additional financial independence; 1880-1905 worked extensively with photography, including 1884-1885 collaboration with Edweard Muybridge [09 Apr 1830 – 08 May 1904] in Philadelphia on photography of movement; 1888-1907 lectured at New York Art Students' League; 1892-1908 produced a large body of work including boxing and wrestling pictures.
— Eakins was born in Philadelphia, where he would spend most of his life. From 1866 to 1870, he studied in Paris under French masters. He gained admission to the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts and entered Gérôme’s atelier on 29 October 1866. He enjoyed Gérôme’s meticulous drawing and exhaustive research for his oriental and historical paintings. As his training progressed, his letters to his father reveal a growing antagonism with the French academic’s preoccupation with classical subjects. Even though Eakins love for Gérôme never abated, he began to study on his own, and he later entered the atelier of Gérôme’s friend, Léon Bonnat, in 1869. He preferred the broad tonalities of Bonnat’s paintings to that of his former teacher, but it was in Spain that he would find his true artistic allies. While visiting the Prado in Madrid, he discovered the tonalities and loose brushstrokes of Diego Velázquez and José de Ribera [bap. 17 Feb 1591 – 02 Sep 1652], both of whom would deeply affect Eakins’ art throughout his entire career.
Although today, Eakins is considered by many as the greatest US painter of the nineteenth century, his artwork found little success in either US collections or from the critics. At the time, people in the US preferred the bright colors and classical idealism of artists such as William Bouguereau and Alexander Cabanel to the muddy tonalities and gritty realism of Eakins, as best exemplified by his 1875 painting The Gross Clinic. , which was, at the time, considered quite gross. In this painting, a surgical operation comes to life in all its reality: students look on with scientific fascination as bloodstained surgeons operate on a patient. The patient’s wound is displayed in all its graphic detail, and the chief surgeon, Dr. Gross, stands lecturing to the students, as a woman in the lower left covers her face in shock. From our vantage point a hundred years later, the antagonisms between Eakins and other academics of his time seem of minor consequence considering the unquestionable high quality of the best on both sides of those arguments, especially compared to the destruction of standards that was soon to follow. The re-appreciation well underway of all these great 19th century masters is long overdue. In 1876, Eakins began teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy and focused on the fundamentals of drawing from the nude. He was forced to resign in 1886 because he allowed a class of students of mixed sexes to draw from a nude model. It was not until the early teens of the twentieth century, fueled by spokesmen such as Robert Henri, that Eakins’ reputation began to grow. By the time of his death his reputation as an artist enjoyed extensive re-evaluation, and he was honored by a memorial show in 1917 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Thomas Eakins was a one of the foremost US realist painters of the 19th century. Working independently of contemporary European styles, he was the first major artist after the US Civil War (1861-1865) to produce a profound and powerful body of work drawn directly from the experience of US life.
Eakins studied drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1861 to 1866. His concurrent study of anatomy at Jefferson Medical College led to a lifelong interest in scientific realism. Eakins spent three years in Paris from 1866 to 1869, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. He was strongly influenced by 17th-century masters, particularly the Dutch artist Rembrandt and the Spanish painters José de Ribera and Diego Velázquez. These masters impressed him with their realism and psychological penetration. He returned to Philadelphia in 1870 and lived there the rest of his life.
Eakins's paintings depict scenes and people observed in the life around him in Philadelphia, particularly domestic scenes of his family and friends. He exercised his scientific inclination in paintings of sailing, rowing, and hunting, where he delineated the anatomy of the human body in motion. He painted several large and powerful hospital scenes, most notably The Gross Clinic (1875), which combined sharp realism a depiction of an operation in progress with psychological acuity in the portrayal of the surgeon, Doctor Gross.
As director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Eakins introduced an innovative curriculum,including thorough study of anatomy and dissection as well as scientific perspective, which revolutionized the teaching of art in the US. His insistence on study from the nude scandalized the school's authorities, however, and he was forced to resign in 1886.
During the later part of his career, Eakins's scientific interests were overshadowed by his preoccupation with psychology and personality, and in his art he concentrated principally on portraiture studies of friends, scientists, musicians, artists, and clergymen. In addition to their masterly evocation of personality, these portraits are characterized by uncompromising realism and by a sculptural sense of form, which is evident in the strong modeling of the sitters' heads, bodies, and hands. Typical of his full-length portraits is The Pathetic Song (1881), with the standing figure of a singer in a rich silk gown silhouetted against a dimly lighted music room.
Although none of his paintings brought him financial or popular success, Eakins had a profound influence, both as a painter and as a teacher, on the course of US naturalism. His realistic approach to painting was ahead of his time.
— Eakins carried the tradition of 19th-century US Realism to perhaps its highest achievement. He painted mainly portraits of his friends and scenes of outdoor sports, such as swimming and boating (e.g. Max Schmitt in a Single Scull 1871). Because of its frank and unsentimental nature, the work generally acknowledged as his masterpiece, The Gross Clinic (1875), which depicts a surgical operation, was considered gross and distasteful by his contemporaries.
Eakins was born in Philadelphia and, except for one extended study trip abroad and a brief trip to the West, virtually his entire life was spent in that city. From his father, a writing master, Eakins inherited not only the manual dexterity and sense of precision that characterizes his art but also the love of outdoor activity and the commitment to absolute integrity that marked his personal life. He did well in school, especially in science and mathematics.
As his interest in art developed, he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Concerned particularly with the human figure, he reinforced his study of the live model at the academy by attending lectures in anatomy at Jefferson Medical College and eventually witnessing and participating in dissections.
Eakins went to France in 1866. He enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts and studied under Gérôme for over three years. Unaffected by the avant-garde painting of the Impressionists, Eakins absorbed a solid academic tradition with its emphasis on drawing. After completing his study, Eakins went to Spain late in 1869, where he was greatly influenced by the 17th-century paintings of Diego Velázquez and José de Ribera. Perhaps reacting against the rigors of his academic training, he preferred artists who used paint and brush boldly to express their sense of life, creating what he called “big work.” In Spain, his student days behind him, Eakins undertook his first independent efforts at oil painting.
Eakins returned to Philadelphia in the summer of 1870. His earliest artistic subjects were his sisters and other members of his family and the family of his fiancée, Katherine Crowell. Redolent with the character of each individual in an intimate and personal domestic setting (pensive young ladies at the piano, children engrossed with toys scattered on the floor, Katherine playing with a kitten in her lap) these rich, warm portraits seem to express in color and mood the essence of what Lewis Mumford called “the Brown Decades.” Close family ties were important to Eakins, and the intimate harmony of his home life was seriously disrupted and saddened by the death first of his mother and later of Katherine Crowell.
Eakins resumed the vigorous outdoor life of his earlier years, hunting, sailing, fishing, swimming, rowing. These activities, like his family circle, provided him with subject matter for his art. A candid realist, Eakins simply painted the people and the world that he knew best, choosing his subjects from the life that he lived. Like the poetry of his aged friend Walt Whitman, who lived across the Delaware River in Camden, NJ, Eakins' art was autobiographical, “a song of himself.” Eakins, in fact, often included himself as an observer in his own paintings—sculling in the background behind his friend in “Max Schmitt in a Single Scull,” peering intently at a surgical operation in “The Agnew Clinic,” or treading water next to his setter dog Harry and watching a group of students swimming in “The Swimming Hole.” Each of the early outdoor scenes, natural and informal at first glance, was, in fact, carefully composed on a perspective grid, with each object precisely located in pictorial space. Each image is further informed by Eakins' personal knowledge of the scene depicted. Thus color, composition, and the play of lights and darks subtly convey to the viewer a fuller understanding of and feeling for the concentrated energy of a sculler propelling his boat through the water, or the taut equilibrium of the moment when a hunter standing in his boat balances himself, sights his target, and slowly squeezes the trigger.
From his earliest student days, Eakins had been primarily interested in studying and portraying the human figure. His early sculling scenes displayed the musculature of athletic men, and “The Gross Clinic” dealt directly with the subject of human anatomy. But Eakins found few subjects in contemporary Philadelphia that afforded opportunities for portraying the undraped human figure, especially females. He circumvented this by painting repeatedly a partly imaginary scene of William Rush, a much earlier Philadelphia sculptor, carving his statue of the Nymph with Bittern from a naked female model in the presence of a chaperon, which provided him with a pictorial pretext for portraying a nude woman.
In the late 1870s Eakins began to teach at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he became professor of drawing and painting in 1879. A popular and influential teacher, Eakins stressed anatomy and drawing from live, nude models as opposed to the study of plaster casts of antique sculpture. The fame of the Pennsylvania Academy as a center for the best art instruction in the country spread among young artists. Yet notoriety accompanied repute, and objections were voiced increasingly from outside the academy to Eakins' unrestrained use of nude models in front of mixed classes. The suspicious were unable to accept Eakins' assurance that the relationship between artist and model was as innocent, objective, and professional as that between doctor and patient. Eakins continued to insist on the importance of teaching from nude human models and was finally forced to resign in 1886. Teaching had become a major part of his life, and this was another severe blow. He continued to teach sporadically at the newly formed Art Students League in Philadelphia and at the National Academy of Design in New York, and his personal relationships with young artists remained close. One bright moment during these difficult years occurred in 1884, when he married one of his pupils, Hannah Susan Macdowell.
As a corollary to his interest in anatomy, Eakins was fascinated with locomotion, human and animal figures in motion. A commission in 1879 to paint Fairman Rogers driving his four-in-hand coach through Fairmount Park in Philadelphia led him to an intensive study of horse anatomy, and he made a number of sculpted wax sketches of horses in motion. He developed a serious interest in sculpture, an aspect of his art that only became appreciated much later. His interest in locomotion led to familiarity with the experiments in sequential photography being made in California by Eadweard Muybridge [09 Apr 1830 – 08 May 1904]. By 1884 Eakins himself was experimenting with multiple-image photography of moving athletes and animals. And in later years his interest in the human figure in motion led him to make a series of impressive paintings of boxing scenes.
Eakins' interests ranged widely (sports, anatomy, locomotion, music, sculpture, photography) in directions often reminiscent of Edgar Degas but without that artist's innovative stylistic concerns. There is no evidence, however, that Eakins was aware of the work of Degas. Eakins' art does demand comparison with that of Winslow Homer, the contemporary he most admired and his principal rival claimant to the title of the greatest US artist of the 19th century. Homer, also an objective realist, was similarly interested in outdoor sports and such sporting subjects as hunting, canoeing, and fishing. He also had a similar love for and identification with a specific place, in Homer's case, Prouts Neck, Maine. Homer's art is cool, detached, impersonal, and ultimately pessimistic in its view that man is at the mercy of a deterministic universe. Eakins' art, although often sad in its reflection of the buffeting each human receives in the course of his years, still is ultimately optimistic in its humanism, in its message that man, through his individual actions—a doctor with a knife, a sculler with an oar, a hunter with a gun, a boxer with his gloved fist, a musician with his instrument, a singer with her voice, a chess player with his pieces, a scientist with his instruments—can act, do things, have an effect in this world. Despite the wide variety of his subject matter, almost all of Eakins' art is portraiture, images of real people whom he knew and loved or respected. In his representations of the physical world, Eakins combined a technical ability to depict the external aspect of things with a probing for the essence of each scene. In his portraits of individuals, he similarly combined the faithful representation of the external and anatomical realities of each person with a deeper probing into the subject's inner being and character. The people he portrays have lived, and often their experiences are etched on their faces. The wear and tear of years is not glossed over but celebrated in staring eyes, wrinkles, and slumping torsos.
Although always respected for his ability, Eakins remained throughout his years something of an outcast. His contemporaries, rather than allowing themselves to be shaken by his frank statements of the human condition and his joyous appreciation of the human body, ignored him. He sold few pictures, but fortunately a small private income matched his modest needs. Unfettered by the demands of clients, Eakins was free to paint what and, more importantly, whom he wished. His art was never compromised by the need to flatter patrons or sitters, and honesty was his only policy. Good friends and faithful followers rather than fame and fortune were his lot. Not until 1916, the year of his death, was one of his paintings (Pushing for Rail) acquired by a museum, the Met, and the first major exhibition of his work was held the following year, also at the Met. But Eakins' art had its long-range effect, serving as a model and an impetus for the burst of realism in US painting during the early years of the 20th century, especially in the work of George Bellows and the group called the Ashcan School of painters. And despite the increasing dominance of abstract art during the middle years of the 20th century, a pervasive and stubborn substream of realism surfaced periodically, Regionalism, Pop art, the figurative work of artists such as George Segal and Leonard Baskin, to manifest the continuing debt of US art to the achievement of Thomas Eakins.
— The students of Eakins included Thomas Anshutz, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Phoebe Davis Natt, and Frederick Judd Waugh.
–- Self~Portrait (1902)
— Elizabeth L. Burton (1906, 76x63cm; 693x583pix, kb _ ZOOM to 2205x1857pix, 2400kb)
— The Dean's Roll Call (213.68x106.68cm; 686x560pix, kb _ ZOOM to 2047x999pix, 141kb)
— Mrs. Gilbert L. Parker (61x51cm; 686x560pix, kb _ ZOOM to 1583x1293pix, 223kb)
— Starting Out After Rail (61x50cm; 654x546pix, kb _ ZOOM to 1525x1273pix, 255kb) Eakins was an avid outdoorsman, and especially in the 1870s, when his career was just beginning, he painted a number of pictures of friends and family members hunting, rowing, racing sailboats or, as here, setting out in pursuit of rail, small game birds that were plentiful in the marshes along the Delaware River. The sailors in this picture were friends of Eakins's, Sam Helhower and Harry Young; their names are inscribed on the watercolor version of this painting (Wichita Art Museum). Eakins was a highly disciplined artist and often made carefully crafted studies in one medium as preparation for a work in another. In the case of Starting Out After Rail, he made a perspective drawing and this oil in advance of the watercolor. The composition reflects his love of boats and his fascination with perspective: as Eakins himself said, "I know of no prettier problem in perspective than to draw a yacht sailing...tilted over sideways by the force of the wind." Here, the "yacht" is a Delaware ducker, a small skiff that came into widespread use in the 1870s. His perspective study enabled him to place the boat so that the viewer-presumably positioned on a wharf, for the men have just begun their expedition-can see into the boat and understand its simple construction. In his precisely realistic style, honed during years of study in France with Jean-Léon Gérôme, Eakins renders the expressions of the sailors and their telling poses-one intent on manning the rudder, the other leaning more casually against the side of the boat-as vividly as in a close-up photograph. The bright sky and shimmering, blue-brown water make the scene seem even more immediate. Eakins clearly thought highly of this image, for he sent the oil to Gérôme in Paris to gauge his progress. The watercolor was the first picture he submitted to the American Watercolor Society's annual shows. Although praised for its originality, the watercolor did not sell; Eakins reportedly later traded it for a boat.
— Walt Whitman (1888, 77x62cm; 750x595pix, 73kb)
— The Gross Clinic (1875, 244x198cm; 884x691pix, 62kb _ ZOOM to 2487x2024pix, 125kb) _ Eakins approached Dr. Samuel D. Gross [1805-1884] with his idea for a portrait in the operating theater at Jefferson Medical College. Gross was an innovative surgeon and champion of surgical intervention. This operation — to save a gangrenous leg by removing pus — is one he pioneered.
It is Gross's face that holds you, his forehead caught by light from above, a glowing white star fringed with silver and grey, and the black pits of his eyes, their darkness only heightened by the light. He has paused for a moment to explain a detail of the procedure to the students all around him in the shadows of the theatre. The painting does not freeze the moment so much as expand it infinitely: there is a massive, grand stillness to this imposing canvas in which you contemplate with awe the dominating, dignified figure of the surgeon, all in black, except for the shocking shining red blood on his right hand as he holds the scalpel like a pen, or perhaps a palette knife.
What is Gross thinking? There is something terrible, unutterable in the shadowed rock of his face. All the weight and responsibility of this moment between life and death is in his slightly disengaged moment of thought - this is what it is to be a surgeon.
Below him, an old woman, the mother of the young man on the operating table, claws her hands in horror, covering her face, her eyes. This directs us back to Gross, to his calm, heroic ability to look, to see. His eyes contain the knowledge of sickness, the history of pain. The assistants too look unflinchingly at the wound they hold open. At a remove, the audience watch and learn. Two figures lean in the shadows of the theatre's exit, reminiscent of the passages of a Roman arena. This is a modern arena, and Eakins portrays Gross as a modern hero.
The figures receding in the passage recall the figure in the doorway in Las Meninas of Velázquez. In its ambition and intellect, this is the Las Meninas of the US.
_ In 1875 Eakins, who had yet to become well known, decided to paint a major picture for the Centennial Exposition to be held in Philadelphia the following year. He took as his subject a scene that had become familiar to him—Samuel Gross of Jefferson Medical College operating in his clinic before his students. Gross was a magnetic teacher and one of the country's greatest surgeons. Eakins often selected moments that reveal multiple aspects of a scene and in this picture depicts Gross as both surgeon and teacher. Gross stands in the centre of a sombre amphitheatre, starkly top-lighted by a flood of cool daylight cascading down from a skylight above; he is dressed in black street clothes. He has opened an incision in the leg of the anesthetized male patient stretched out before him. While his assistants probe the wound, the doctor turns, one hand holding a scalpel covered with blood, to tell his students what he has done and what he will do next. At the left a seated woman, perhaps the patient's mother, flings an arm across her face, shielding her eyes from the scene, her fingers clawing the air in anguish. Her emotion and the note of pain and suffering inherent in the subject contrast strikingly with the cool professionalism of Gross, whose calm features reflect assurance and determination as well as compassion. The painting objectively records a realistic drama of contemporary life, full of feeling but free of sentimentality.The Gross Clinic is generally agreed to be Eakins' masterpiece.
To Eakins' dismayThe Gross Clinic was rejected for the art exhibition at the Centennial Exposition, and he had to exhibit it in a medical section. Critics and public alike responded to the painting unfavourably. While they could accept historical scenes of grisly martyrdoms or bloody massacres without qualm,The Gross Clinic represented blood and pain and suffering as immediate facts in Philadelphia. That was offensive and unacceptable. Viewers could not appreciate a picture that was neither entertaining nor ennobling but simply a frank statement of contemporary reality. The rejection of the painting was the first of many rebuffs Eakins was to receive from Victorian contemporaries who shared his world but not his values.
— The Agnew Clinic (1889; 740x1062pix, 120kb) _ The Agnew Clinic (790x1135pix)
–- Starting Out After Rail (1874, 62x50cm)
–- Pushing for Rail (1874, 33x76cm; 473x1135pix, 100kb) _ Pushing for Rail _ “Rail” in these two titles has no relation to trains, but refers to any of numerous precocial wading birds structurally related to the cranes but of small or medium size, having short rounded wings, a short tail, and usually very long toes that enable them to run on the soft mud of swamps; and constituting a distinct subfamily of Rallidae.
–- Baby at Play (1876, 82x123cm)
–- Concert Singer (1892, 191x138cm)
The Pathetic Song (1881, 114x82cm; 1105x759pix)
The Swimming Hole
–- Miss Van Buren
Max Schmidt in a Single Scull _ Returning to Philadelphia from his studies in Prance, Eakins quickly found himself as an artist, transferring the historical weightiness of French academic painting to a US context, painting sportsmen frozen at their oars, reflected in still, empty water, most brilliantly in this painting.
— The Cello Player (1896, 163x122cm; _ ZOOMable)
— The Biglin Brothers Racing (1873, 61x92cm; _ ZOOMable)
— The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake (1873, 102x153cm)
–- John Biglin in a Single Scull (1874; 821x1102pix; 174kb) _ John Biglin in a Single Scull _ with a wide background.
— John Biglin in a Single Scull (1874; 1074x708pix; 190kb _ ZOOM to 3658x2536pix, 681kb) like the previous picture, but cropped close to the rower.
— The Crucifixion (1880, 96x54cm)
–- The Courtship (1878, 51x61cm)
— The Chess Players (1876, 30x43cm; 824x1137pix, 135kb)
— The Dancing Lesson (1878; 921x1154pix, 221kb)
— Salutat (1898, 127x102cm; 1078x868pix, 138kb) _ Salutat is part of a larger prizefighting series that Thomas Eakins painted in the last years of the nineteenth century. Eakins had devoted himself almost exclusively to portraiture for many years before returning to sporting images, a theme he had pursued earlier in his career. The boxing series allowed him to study the male nude and seminude form in motion and repose, a theme he had explored in his photographic studies of the 1880s. Study of the nude figure was crucial to Eakins’s art, so much so that he studied anatomy at Jefferson Medical College after attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Eakins went to Paris in 1866, where he studied in the studios of Jean-Léon Gérôme, Léon Bonnat, and the sculptor Pierre Dumont. After several years of study and travel in Europe, Eakins returned to Philadelphia to join the faculty of the Pennsylvania Academy. As an instructor, he eschewed all study from casts in favor of the live nude, and it was his insistence upon the use of nude models for both his men’s and women’s classes at the academy that had forced his resignation in 1886.
Salutat is a full-scale genre scene, yet the individualized figures are a series of portraits. Among them are several of Eakins’s fellow fight-goers, including a sportswriter and several artists. The fighter is Billy Smith, a champion featherweight who fought under the name of “Turkey Point” Billy Smith. He posed for Eakins on several occasions, and the two developed a close acquaintance that lasted throughout their lives. The celebration of athletic achievement was a fundamental element of classical art, and Eakins’s Salutat explores that tradition in modern times. The artist’s prizefighter is a modern gladiator, standing in triumph in a hazy Philadelphia arena. He proudly salutes the crowd as he exits the ring. The painting has been compared to Gérôme’s classical, academic paintings of Roman gladiators in a grand stadium — a comparison underscored by the fact that the original frame for Salutat bore the carved Latin inscription DEXTRA VICTRICE CONCLAMENTES SALUTAT, the title under which the painting was exhibited at 1904 St. Louis World Fair.
— Taking the Count (1898; 1109x969pix)
— Between Rounds aka In the Mid-Time (1899, 127x97cm; 1000x775pix, 491kb _ ZOOMable to 2487x1928pix, 1843kb)
— 127 images at ARC — 113 images at the Athenaeum