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The Concert Singer

Thomas Eakins, American, 1844 - 1916

Geography:
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

Date:
1890-1892

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
6 feet 3 1/8 inches × 54 1/4 inches (190.8 × 137.8 cm) Framed: 7 feet 2 5/16 inches × 65 3/16 inches (219.2 × 165.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 211, American Art, second floor

Accession Number:
1929-184-19

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Thomas Eakins and Miss Mary Adeline Williams, 1929

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Label:
Thomas Eakins's abrupt dismissal from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, in 1886--resulting from his use of nude models in classes with female students--caused a marked change in his work. When he started to paint again, after a two-year period of depression, he concentrated on the penetrating portrait studies that would comprise the majority of his work until his death. His laborious procedure for exactly representing the act of singing was described by Weda Cook, the performer seen in this painting. She recalled that Eakins would have her repeatedly sing the same phrase--from a Felix Mendelssohn composition--as he watched the action of her mouth and throat. The artist carved the opening bars of that song into the frame of the picture.


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