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The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake

The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake

1873

Thomas Eakins

(American, 1844-1916)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 117 x 167 x 6.5 cm (46 1/16 x 65 3/4 x 2 9/16 in.); Unframed: 101.3 x 151.4 cm (39 7/8 x 59 5/8 in.)

Hinman B. Hurlbut Collection 1984.1927

Description

Eakins's painting celebrates athletic teamwork while commemorating an actual event, a famous rowing race that took place on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia during May 1872. Throngs of spectators line the riverbank and watch as Barney and John Biglin negotiate the tricky turn around a stake marking the halfway point in the contest. Their competitors, seen in the middle distance at the right, lag behind. The Biglin brothers won the race, cementing their status as the most celebrated oarsmen of the era. Trained in the United States and France, Eakins spent almost his entire artistic career in his hometown of Philadelphia. He is renowned for the unsentimental realism in his paintings, whose compositions he developed through painstakingly prepared figure and perspective drawings.

See also
Collection: 
American - Painting
Type of artwork: 
Painting
Medium: 
Oil on canvas

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