Thomas Eakins Research Paper

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Thomas Eakins was born and lived in Philadelphia for most of his life. His father, Benjamin Eakins, was a weaver, and Thomas often observed his father at work. This led him to develop skills in drawing lines, perspective, and the use of a grid, which he later used for his art. Eakins attended Central High School, where he studied applied science and arts, and excelled in mechanical drawing. In 1861, he studied drawing and anatomy at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Eakins considered becoming a surgeon because of his interest in the human body, but he ended up studying art in Europe from 1866 to 1870. He studied with Jean-Leon Gerome, a famous French realist painter. Eakins had a passion for realism, including the study of the figure, and was not interested in the impressionist movement that was happening at the time. Eakins took a six month trip to Spain, which confirmed his love for realism. He used the techniques and methods of French and Spanish artists to form his own artistic vision. He returned to the Pennsylvania Academy in 1876 as a volunteer, became a professor in 1878, and then…show more content…
The use of photography was still frowned upon by traditionalists. Few painters took it seriously, but Eakins believed that photographic technology was a better tool to represent the physical world than painting. In the 1870s, he was introduced to the photographic motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge, which led him to become interested in using the camera to study movement. Eakins’ motion studies usually involved the nude figure and he even created his own method for capturing movement on film. Muybridge’s system used a series of cameras that when triggered, would produce a sequence of individual photographs. Eakins preferred to use a single camera to produce a series of exposures on one
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