The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters

100 Greatest Painters  Artists Alphabetically  Artists by Country  Artists by Century   Artists by Movement

Thomas Eakins


American Realist Painter

One of the Greatest Painters Of All Time

Education - Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts



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.

Characteristics and Descriptive Words and Phrases associated with Realist painting - revolution, poverty, social realist,  figurative compositions, landscapes, seascapes, still-life, 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

acques-Louis David, (1748-1825) French

Honoré Daumier (1808 - 1879) French

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) American

James Peale  (1749-1831) American

Remington (1866-1909) American

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