William Rush Carving His Allegorical Figure of the Schuylkill River
Thomas Eakins, American, 1844 - 1916
When Eakins exhibited this painting, first at the Boston Art Club in January 1878 and later that year at the Society of American Artists in New York, it created some controversy. A New York reviewer wrote: "What ruins the picture is much less the want of beauty in the model (as has been suggested in the public prints) than the presence in the foreground of the clothes of that young woman, cast carelessly over a chair. This gives the shock which makes one think about the nudity—and at once the picture becomes improper."