Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins, 25 Jul 1844 - 25 Jun 1916
Frances Eakins, 1848 - 1940
Image: 10.9 x 8.2cm (4 5/16 x 3 1/4")
Case Open: 12.1 x 19.2 x 1.3cm (4 3/4 x 7 9/16 x 1/2")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Thomas Eakins, who would one day be regarded as America's leading realist painter of the nineteenth century, posed with his sister for this portrait when he was about seven years old. A member of the first generation to grow up with the new medium of photography, Eakins came to appreciate the camera's value as an artistic aid and as a teaching tool. Although he never publicly acknowledged the role that the camera played in his work, Eakins used photography to create studies for many of his paintings; to assist him in working out complex compositions; and to enhance his ability to depict figures in motion.