A brilliant sun, a stiffening breeze, a scud of clouds, a chop of water,
a triangulation of sails, a ballast of sailors: the perfect day for a race
on the Delaware River. A perfect day for the Philadelphia-born, Paris-trained
American realist painter Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) as well. Indeed, Lloyd
Goodrich, Eakins’ principal biographer, calls Sailboats
Racing on the Delaware (cover ) one of Eakins’
“happiest” pictures, a fact worthy of mention given Eakins’
established reputation of moroseness, withdrawal, and unconventional behavior.
As new biographical information is released, the reputation grows. But on
a certain day in Philadelphia in 1874, the sun was shining for Thomas Eakins.
Southgate MT. Sailboats Racing on the Delaware. JAMA. 2005;294(10):1182. doi:10.1001/jama.294.10.1182
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