Monday, July 25, 2016

Thomas Eakins

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 - June 25, 1916) was an American realist painter, photographer,[2] sculptor, and fine arts educator. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important artists in American art history. In this image: A person views Thomas Eakins' "The Gross Clinic," at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, on Jan. 5, 2007. To help finance a $68 million deal to keep the masterpiece in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts said Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007, that it has sold another Eakins painting, "The Cello Player."

Back in 2010, I wrote about  him when LACMA was displaying “The Wrestlers:

Realism in the United States: The Gross Clinic


Here is a link to an article that claims that Eakins was a latent homosexual - based on his paintings of male nudes. I don't buy the argument - painting nudes of both sexes was common practice before the advent of abstract expressionism but it's interesting to read how a critic can take apart a painting and read something into it that most of us never think about.

Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History: Naked and Exposed: A Historical, Psychosexual and Comparative Analysis of Thomas Eakins’s Masterpiece, The Swimming. by Laurie Figliano

Images from Wikipedia/Creative Commons


Carla Ives said...

Thank you for introducing me to another American painter. I did not know the name before I read this. I had seen "The Wrestlers" before, but knew nothing about its origin. My favorite of what is displayed here is the one with the canoe on the lake.

Karen Graham said...

I too didn't recognize Eakins' name, but I have seen some of his works. It's always interesting to read what others think of an artist or sculptor based on their works. it just doesn't always hold true, though.

But I see what you mean about his art being "dark." I had not looked at it that way until today, and perhaps it is. But it must be in the setting, perhaps of some of his paintings.

nancy namaste said...

It's quite possible that some of the "darkness" is due to old varnish that needs to be cleaned but that style of painting was very popular in the 19th century. It took the Impressionists to lighten up the artists' palate by eliminating the use of black, black and more black. .