Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (; July 25, 1844 – June 25, 1916) was an American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and Good arts educator. He is widely traditional to be one of the most important American artists.
For beside his professional career, from the upfront 1870s until his health began to fail some 40 years later, Eakins worked exactingly from life, choosing as his subject the people of his hometown of Philadelphia. He painted several hundred portraits, usually of friends, family members, or prominent people in the arts, sciences, medicine, and clergy. Taken en masse, the portraits manage to pay for an overview of the intellectual life of contemporary Philadelphia; individually, they are incisive depictions of thinking persons.
In addition, Eakins produced a number of large paintings that brought the portrait out of the drawing room and into the offices, streets, parks, rivers, arenas, and surgical amphitheaters of his city. These nimble outdoor venues allowed him to paint the subject that most inspired him: the nude or lightly clad figure in motion. In the process, he could model the forms of the body in full sunlight, and create images of deep spread utilizing his studies in perspective. Eakins as well as took a fervent interest in the extra technologies of action photography, a arena in which he is now seen as an innovator.
No less important in Eakins' life was his take steps as a teacher. As an university he was a extremely influential presence in American art. The difficulties which beset him as an performer seeking to paint the portrait and figure realistically were paralleled and even amplified in his career as an educator, where behavioral and sexual scandals truncated his completion and damaged his reputation.
Eakins was a controversial figure whose do its stuff received little by artifice of endorsement during his lifetime. Since his death, he has been highly praised by American art historians as "the strongest, most profound realist in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American art".