American Realist Painter, 1844-1916.
Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 ?C June 25, 1916) was a realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and fine arts educator. He is widely acknowledged to be one of the most important artists in American art history.
For the length of his professional career, from the early 1870s until his health began to fail some forty years later, Eakins worked exactingly from life, choosing as his subject the people of his hometown of Philadelphia. He painted several hundred portraits, usually of friends, family members, or prominent people in the arts, sciences, medicine, and clergy. Taken en masse, the portraits offer an overview of the intellectual life of Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; individually, they are incisive depictions of thinking persons. As well, Eakins produced a number of large paintings which brought the portrait out of the drawing room and into the offices, streets, parks, rivers, arenas, and surgical amphitheaters of his city. These active outdoor venues allowed him to paint the subject which most inspired him: the nude or lightly clad figure in motion. In the process he could model the forms of the body in full sunlight, and create images of deep space utilizing his studies in perspective.
No less important in Eakins' life was his work as a teacher. As an instructor he was a highly influential presence in American art. The difficulties which beset him as an artist seeking to paint the portrait and figure realistically were paralleled and even amplified in his career as an educator, where behavioral and sexual scandals truncated his success and damaged his reputation.
Eakins also took a keen interest in the new technologies of motion photography, a field in which he is now seen as an innovator. Eakins was a controversial figure whose work received little by way of official recognition during his lifetime. Since his death, he has been celebrated by American art historians as "the strongest, most profound realist in nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century American art". Related Paintings of Thomas Eakins :. | The Oboe player | Portrait of Professor Benjamin H Rand | Fishing | Characteristic of Performance | Studies of Game Birds, probably Viginia Rails |
Related Artists:Claude Lorrain
Claude Lorrain Galleries
In Rome, not until the mid-17th century were landscapes deemed fit for serious painting. Northern Europeans, such as the Germans Elsheimer and Brill, had made such views pre-eminent in some of their paintings (as well as Da Vinci in his private drawings or Baldassarre Peruzzi in his decorative frescoes of vedute); but not until Annibale Carracci and his pupil Domenichino do we see landscape become the focus of a canvas by a major Italian artist. Even with the latter two, as with Lorrain, the stated themes of the paintings were mythic or religious. Landscape as a subject was distinctly unclassical and secular. The former quality was not consonant with Renaissance art, which boasted its rivalry with the work of the ancients. The second quality had less public patronage in Counter-Reformation Rome, which prized subjects worthy of "high painting," typically religious or mythic scenes. Pure landscape, like pure still-life or genre painting, reflected an aesthetic viewpoint regarded as lacking in moral seriousness. Rome, the theological and philosophical center of 17th century Italian art, was not quite ready for such a break with tradition.
In this matter of the importance of landscape, Lorrain was prescient. Living in a pre-Romantic era, he did not depict those uninhabited panoramas that were to be esteemed in later centuries, such as with Salvatore Rosa. He painted a pastoral world of fields and valleys not distant from castles and towns. If the ocean horizon is represented, it is from the setting of a busy port. Perhaps to feed the public need for paintings with noble themes, his pictures include demigods, heroes and saints, even though his abundant drawings and sketchbooks prove that he was more interested in scenography.
Lorrain was described as kind to his pupils and hard-working; keenly observant, but an unlettered man until his death. The painter Joachim von Sandrart is an authority for Claude's life (Academia Artis Pictoriae, 1683); Baldinucci, who obtained information from some of Claude's immediate survivors, relates various incidents to a different effect (Notizie dei professoni del disegno).
John Constable described Claude Lorrain as "the most perfect landscape painter the world ever saw", and declared that in Claude??s landscape "all is lovely ?C all amiable ?C all is amenity and repose; the calm sunshine of the heart"desnoyerPaul Cornoyer