1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Eakins, Thomas
EAKINS, THOMAS (1844– ), American portrait and figure painter, was born at Philadelphia, on the 25th of July 1844. A pupil of J. L. Gérôme, in the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and Also of Léon Bonnat, besides working in the studio of the sculptor Dumont, he became a prolific portrait painter. He also painted genre pictures, sending to the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, in 1876, the “Chess Players,” now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. A large canvas, “The Surgical Clinic of Professor Gross,” owned by Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, contains many life-sized figures. Eakins, with his pupil Samuel Murray (b. 1870), modelled the heroic “Prophets” for the Witherspoon Building, Philadelphia, and his work in painting has a decided sculptural quality. He was for some years professor of anatomy at the schools of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. A man of great inventiveness, he experimented in many directions, depicting on canvas modern athletic sports, the negro, and early American life, but he is best known by his portraits. He received awards at the Columbian (1893), Paris (1900), Pan-American (1900), and the St Louis (1904), Expositions; and won the Temple medal in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Proctor prize of the National Academy of Design.