Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Image: 17 3/4 x 14 1/4 inches (45.1 x 36.2 cm);
Overall/Frame: 25 1/8 x 22 x 2 1/4 inches (63.8 x 55.9 x 5.7 cm)
Object Number: 93.022.001
Thomas Eakins began his studies as a painter in 1861 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and independently took anatomy courses at the Jefferson Medical School. Dissatisfied, he left in 1866 for Paris where he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, studying under Jean-Léon Gérôme. A trip to Madrid in 1869 to see the work of Velasquez, however, left an indelible impression on his work. He returned to the United States in 1870, and in 1876 he was appointed instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy and became its director in 1882. He resigned in 1886 because the Academy's board of directors objected to his use of live nude models in drawing classes. Eakins persisted in maintaining that knowledge, especially scientific knowledge, was necessary for the creation of art, and a loyal group of students left the Academy and founded the Art Students League of Philadelphia. Study of a Model, a painting made while he was still a student in Paris, marks an important early point in Eakins's career where many of his interests are visible: the nude model is explored for the interplay of light and shadow, for form and texture, and for its personality and inward reflection. Throughout it betrays, even at this early point in Eakins's body of work, his interest and belief in personal observation. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.