Dec 5, 2012

The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake

The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake


Thomas Eakins

(American, 1844–1916)

Graphite and brush and brown wash

Image: 35.4 x 43.2 cm (13 15/16 x 17 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1942.1066



Before beginning a large-scale painting such as The Biglin Brothers Turning the Stake, Eakins began a series of specialized studies. He outlined the space of the composition with perspective drawings, such as this sketch in graphite. Eakins also used figure studies when rendering a work, as well as landscape and architectural drawings and his own photographs (examples of which are elsewhere in the exhibition). The practice of using perspective drawings to work out the space of a painting dates back to the Renaissance, revealing Eakins’s academic training.

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