Thomas Eakins: His Life and Art

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9781558592810: Thomas Eakins: His Life and Art

The range of Thomas Eakins' (1844-1916) work is dazzling - handsome sporting scenes (sculling, swimming, baseball, boxing..), dramatic historical tableaux, psychologically incisive portraits, as well as sculptures and scientifically astute experiments with photography. His influence as both artist and teacher permeates American art history.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Long celebrated, like his crony and idol Walt Whitman, as an advocate of ``the common man,'' American realist painter Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) emerges here as a self-righteous, domineering egotist troubled by sexual obsessions and dark secrets. According to art historian Homer, author of books on Albert Pinkham Ryder and Alfred Stieglitz, Eakins harbored unconscious hostility toward women and ``wanted to defeminize them.'' He married one of his most promising art students, Susan Macdowell, then gave her no encouragement to paint. By relatives' accounts, he may have sexually abused his 23-year-old niece, Ella Crowell, triggering her suicide. In a startling, fresh, gloriously illustrated biographical-critical portrait, Homer knocks the halo off Eakins while capturing the humanity and complexity of his art. Drawing on hitherto unavailable source materials, he fathoms a painter who, like Whitman, evinced disregard for the conventions of his time.

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Skilled technician in oils, sculptor, photographer, teacher, illustrator, and close observer of anatomy and movement, Eakins (1844-1916) has long stood as an anti-establishment hero in the history of American art. Noted art historian Homer reevaluates this Philadelphian's controversial career in an extraordinarily handsome critical biography. Of the 240 illustrations, 100 are color plates of Eakins's unidealized yet evocative portraits, sporting scenes, and history paintings. Many of the remaining illustrations are intriguing photographs of Eakins, his sitters, and studies for his canvases. Appendixes include a chronology and footnotes. An outstanding volume worthy of all lovers of American art, both scholarly and lay.
- Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, N.Y.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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