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Eakins' Max Schmitt in a Single Scull

Thomas Eakins painted Max Schmitt in a Single Scull in 1871. The painting is oil on canvas and measures 32 1/4" by 46 1/4". It is currently owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The painting shows Schmitt seated in a long, narrow rowing shell, or scull. The scull sits in the middle of a river, and is located at the center of the lower half of the painting. Schmitt looks back over his shoulder toward the viewer. Beyond Schmitt the river bank appears on either side of the painting, and is covered with trees that either have fall colors or have lost their leaves. Some houses are also visible on the bank. At the horizon an iron bridge crosses the river. On the river another rower is shown beyond Schmitt, pulling on the outspread oars of his scull. Closer to the bridge there is also a long, low, red boat with a few people seated in it. Under the bridge and beyond it is a steamboat with a small smokestack emitting a cloud of steam. The sky above the scene is empty except for a long, narrow white cloud that stretches across most of the left half of the painting. At the far left there is another, more compact, white cloud.

Thomas Eakins was an American painter who was born in Philadelphia on July 25, 1844 and died on June 25, 1916. His early training took place in Philadelphia but he went to Paris in 1866. In Paris he became a student of Jean Leon GTr(me at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1870, after he finished studying with GTr(me, Eakins made a visit to Spain and was very strongly influenced by the works of the great Spanish painters Diego Velazquez and Jusepe de Ribera. Eakins was inspired by their ability to use the "techniques of traditional indirect painting" in order to probe, shape and finally resolve the "form of the subject" (Johns 16).

One of Eakins' greatest interests as an artist was anatomy. The human body was beautiful to him "because its structure and movements were," as he puts it, "mean...

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Eakins' Max Schmitt in a Single Scull. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:13, April 21, 2019, from