|Product Details |
Yale University Press
From Publishers Weekly
Accompanying the first major retrospective in more than 20 years of a major American artist, this catalogue is simply ravishing. Eakins (1844-1916) produced some of the most hauntingly beautiful pastoral paintings and portraits of any era, in a manner related to but distinct from contemporaries J.M. Whistler and Winslow Homer. Sewell, Robert L. McNeil Jr. curator of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (in Eakins's home city, whence the exhibit originates), divides Eakins's career into four distinct periods, bringing together compelling strands of Eakins scholarship, particularly on the systematic sets of photographs the artist took and from which he often worked, including Muybridgian motion studies. Seeing and reading about the transformation of enigmatic sepia-toned photographic nudes (often including the artist) into Eakins's art is little short of breathtaking. The "homotextuality" of many of them has been the subject of much recent critical inquiry, but the essays gathered by Sewell are assiduously noncommittal as to Eakins's sexual practice. There are more than 575 illustrations in all, 250 of which are in color and full-page. Fabulously printed, thoughtful and formally exhaustive, this will be the definitive Eakins catalogue for the foreseeable future. (Nov.) Forecast: The exhibition which will be in Philadelphia from October through January, travels to Paris's Musée d'Orsay and the Met in New York over the next year; it should be a blockbuster that results in strong sales at the museum shops. Gift tables (especially gay and lesbian) and university libraries are also a lock price will deter few, given the lavishness of the printing.
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From Library Journal
Unlike his aristocratic contemporaries John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase, the great 19th-century realist painter Thomas Eakins depicted more prosaic topics, such as people boxing and rowing and musicians at work. While his pictures lack the enigmatic air that his peers achieved, in his passion and exactitude Eakins can be favorably compared with his idols Vel zquez and Rembrandt. He was both a hero to his students and an outcast from the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, where he... read more
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) is one of the most fascinating and important personalities in the history of American art. His memorable and much-loved scenes of rowing, sailing, and boxing as well as his deeply moving portraits are renowned for their vibrant realism and dramatic intensity. This beautiful and insightful book, published in conjunction with a major exhibition on the life and career of Eakins--the first in twenty years--presents a fresh perspective on the artist and his remarkable accomplishments. Lavishly illustrated with more than 250 of Eakins's most significant paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sculpture, the book features essays by prominent scholars who place his art in the context of the history and culture of late nineteenth- century Philadelphia, where he lived. The contributors also discuss how Eakins applied his French academic training to subjects that were distinctly American and part of his own immediate and complex experience. Eakins's own photographs, which he used as part of his unique creative process, are also examined for the first time in the full context of his life's work.