Philadelphia’s Realist Painter, Sculptor, and Photographer
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) would return from three years of art training in Europe to spend his life recording the faces and places of his hometown with incomparable skill. He found art in unconventional, modern subjects like rowing, boxing, and sailing that gave him an opportunity to paint the human figure. This fascination inspired anatomical studies and experimental motion photography, putting science in service to art. Unsparingly realistic, his portraits captured the appearance as well as the emotional life of his contemporaries.