At the Piano (Frances and Margaret Eakins)
55.9 cm x 45.7 cm (22 in. x 18 in.)
(Philadelphia, 1844 - 1916, Philadelphia)
North America, American
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas on masonite
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Caroline Crowell, M.D., 1964
Thomas Eakins is considered one of the most significant realist American painters of the late 19th and early 20th century. After studying in Europe, he established a studio in Philadelphia in 1870. His earliest paintings, such as this one, depict family members in interior, domestic settings. Here he presents his two younger sisters, Frances and Margaret. The several hundred portraits Eakins produced in his lifetime capture the intellectual interests and psychological character of those he painted— friends, family members, and prominent intellectuals in his native Philadelphia. After making this portrait, he became an influential art educator, teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, among other institutions.