Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) was the foremost realistic painter of his period in the United States and a superb teacher who influenced a whole generation of painters. Lloyd Goodrich, Director Emeritus of the Whitney Museum of American Art, has written an intimate and authoritative chronicle of the artist's life and an illuminating descriptive analysis of his art.
A master of realism, Eakins was deeply interested in anatomy, mathematics, and perspective. As a teacher he discarded the old emphasis on antique drawing and urged his pupils to study dissection and the nude figure. His earlier paintings include outdoor and sporting scenes, domestic genres, and his two greatand shocking at the timemedical compositions, The Gross Clinic and The Agnew Clinic. Later he turned to portraiture, where his powerful realistic style, his deep understanding of humanity, and the vitality with which he endowed his subjects made him the outstanding portraitist of his time. He was unwilling to flatter his clients, however, and thus won few commissions; most of his portraits were labors of love.
Only toward the end of his life did the American art world come to recognize his genius. This book by the foremost authority on Eakins is the product of years of research and study of primary material, much of it previously unpublished, and of firsthand contact with the artist's family, friends, and pupils. Goodrich has assembled the only complete record of Eakins' work in all mediums. The 277 illustrations, including 67 in color, make this the most complete and best-reproduced visual record of Eakins' works ever published. This book will become the definitive biography of a major American artist.