Thomas Eakins painted several works with music-related themes during his career. In Home Scene, his older sister Margaret sits at the piano, and a young Caroline lies on the floor, studiously writing on a slate tablet. The prominent placement of the piano reflects the instrument’s importance in middle-class homes in the late nineteenth century, when piano lessons were pursued for cultural refinement and self-improvement. Eakins’s dark and somber composition conveys a sense of stillness and introspection rather than the narrative typical of genre painting.
- Artist: Thomas Eakins, American, 1844-1916
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dates: ca. 1871
- Dimensions: 21 7/16 x 18 in. (54.4 x 45.7 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed lower right: "Eakins"
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Everyday Life/A Nation Divided, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 50.115
- Credit Line: Gift of George A. Hearn and Charles A. Schieren, by exchange; Frederick Loeser Art Fund and the Dick S. Ramsay Fund
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916). Home Scene, ca. 1871. Oil on canvas, 21 7/16 x 18 in. (54.4 x 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George A. Hearn and Charles A. Schieren, by exchange; Frederick Loeser Art Fund and the Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 50.115
- Record Completeness: Best (89%)