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Home Scene

Thomas Eakins

American Art

Model Sisters

Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent were just beginning their hugely successful careers when they turned to cherished sisters as their models for these two intimate works. Although both had studied figure painting in Paris, they found powerful inspiration in Dutch and Spanish seventeenth-century painting (especially the works of Rembrandt van Rijn and Diego Velázquez), famous for their expressive description of light and shadow.

Eakins painted his sister Margaret (1853–1882) overseeing the younger Caroline (1865–1889) at a time when their mother was gravely ill. Sargent’s similarly tender and richly brushed portrait of his little sister Violet (1870–1955) is his earliest surviving oil portrait.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1871
DIMENSIONS 21 7/16 × 18 in. (54.4 × 45.7 cm) frame: 29 × 25 × 3 in. (73.7 × 63.5 × 7.6 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "Eakins"
CREDIT LINE Gift of George A. Hearn and Charles A. Schieren, by exchange, Frederick Loeser Fund and Dick S. Ramsay Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916). Home Scene, ca. 1871. Oil on canvas, 21 7/16 × 18 in. (54.4 × 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George A. Hearn and Charles A. Schieren, by exchange, Frederick Loeser Fund and Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 50.115 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 50.115_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 50.115_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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