Portrait: The Life of Thomas Eakins
Thomas Eakins, a native of Philadelphia, painted two worlds: one sure of its valuesthe surgeons, inventors, musicians, and athletes of his timeand another that reflected his own struggles with depression and sexual identity. In this evenhanded account of those struggles, William S. McFeely sheds new light on Eakins's genius and on the evocative melancholy of his portraits, particularly of women, which include many of his remarkable wife, Susan McDowell Eakins. Those deeply perceptive paintings may be the greatest expressions of his art.
One of America's leading historians, McFeely has long been an interpreter of nineteenth-century American writing. A fascinating aspect of this narrative is how he brings the painter into the company of Thoreau, Melville, and Whitman, with whom Eakins formed a deep friendship. The famous painting Swimming, for example, is likened to Walden, Typee, and to passages in Leaves of Grass.
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1729 Mt.Vernon Street Addie anatomy Anschutz Art Students artist Avondale Benjamin Eakins Bonheur Brandywine River Museum Bregler camera Caroline Central High School color plate Cowperthwait Crowell Delaware Delaware River directors drawing Eakins Catalogue Eakins knew Eakins painted Eakins took Ecole Ecole des Beaux-Arts Edith Mahon Emily Sartain F. O. Matthiessen face Fanny father Gerome Gerome's Gross Clinic Harry Moore Henry homosexual horse Ibid Kenton later Laurie Wallace letter Lloyd Goodrich look male Margaret Metropolitan Museum Mickle Street Museum of Art naked never nineteenth century nude Oil on canvas painter Paris Pennsylvania Academy Philadelphia Museum photographs picture portrait pose Rowland sailing Sam Murray Samuel Murray sexual sister Spain studio Susan Eakins Susan Macdowell Eakins Swimming teacher teaching Thomas Eakins Thoreau told Tom's trip University of Pennsylvania Wallace Walt Whitman Wanamaker's William William Sartain women wrote York young