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Thomas Eakins

1844-1916  

American Realist Painter

One of the Greatest Painters Of All Time

Artistically and stylistically influenced by the following painters;  Jean-Léon Gerome, Titian and  Diego Velazquez

Education - Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

The Gross Clinic c. 1875

 

The intense passion for his subjects is what motivated, Thomas Eakins  to paint. His figures express unstructured, somber composure and his portraits are thoughtful, exploratory and intense. The psychological aspect of his work is no less remarkable then the technical.  Thomas Eakins once stated "The big artist keeps an eye on nature and steals her tools."
 
Thomas Eakins 19th Century Realist Style
 
According to art historian, Richard Muther Ph.D. "Realism was the product of a positive and worldly epoch which expressed itself in epic, never in lyrical strains.  A clear eye was considered sufficient, and feeling could be dispensed with. Passionless and in the same attitude of science to  nature, painting wished to conquer by means of the eye alone."
 
Realism painters favor nature, figurative compositions, landscapes, seascapes, and still-life's. It is school of painting so varied that it is impossible to generalize. Gustave Courbet, asserted "The big artist keeps an eye on nature and steals her tools." Some Realist painters such as George Caleb Bingham shunned idealization and theatrical romanticizing while Jacques-Louis David reveled in it.  Different types of realism include - Classical Realism, Fantastic Realism, Social Realism, Heroic Realism and modern Photorealism. Realist painters were generally narrative.
 

Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Realist painting- revolution, poverty, social realist,  figurative compositions, landscapes, seascapes, still-lifes, social issues, vulgar, rural bourgeoisie, peasants, Classical Realism, Fantastic Realism, Social Realism, Heroic Realism, Photorealism,  Realist,  narrative

Important Realist Painters

John James Audubon (1785 -1851) American

George Bellows (1882 - 1925) American

George Catlin (1796-1872) American

George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879) American

John  Copley (1738-1815) American

Gustave Courbet (1819 - 1877) French

Jacques-Louis David, (1748-1825) French

Honoré Daumier (1808 - 1879) French

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) American

James Peale  (1749-1831) American

Remington (1866-1909) American

Norman Rockwell  (1894-1978) American

 

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