Thomas Eakins

John Wilmerding, Editor Smithsonian Books $55 (212p) ISBN 978-1-56098-313-2
Eakins (1844-1916) painted portraits of scientists, surgeons, writers, teachers, musicians and sportsmen, figures who, as Wilmerding notes, ``all relied on the sensitive coordination of intelligence and action, of mind and body, of brain and hands.'' In this rewarding catalogue of an exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery, essays by 30 scholars provide fresh perspectives on the American realist's uncompromising vision. Eakins often projected his own anxieties and feelings into his pictures, as in a remarkably candid portrait of his wife Susan Macdowell, or the devastating images of patrons who appear vain and heartless. His portraits of female nudes, Roman Catholic clerics, his favorite sister Margaret, African American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner and Walt Whitman reflect the diverse interests of this anti-impressionist. Wilmerding is professor of American art at Princeton. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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