American realist painter
Eakins is arguably the most distinguished realist painter of 19th-20th century American art. He was also a practicing photographer, sculptor, and professor during his life. He studied in Europe among French and Spanish Masters, such as Jean-Léon Gérôme, Léon Bonnat, and Diego Velaquez, before returning to America. He painted a range of subjects from athletes and outdoor activities to women and children in quiet shadowed interiors. After retiring from teaching, Eakins focused on painting portraitures of family and friends. His paintings was able to capture a psychological element of his sitters and reflected an investigative candor that distinguished him from peers Whistler, and John Sargent.
“Eakins was in the vanguard of young painters who would shift the focus of American art from landscape to the figural subjects favored by the European academies.”