Thomas Eakins. "Dr. Agnew". [The Agnew Clinic].
Copyright 1893. 8 1/4 x 12 3/8. Halftone. Very good condition. Framed. A/A
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) was a Philadelphia born artist and photographer, but before going to Paris to study art with Jean-Léon Gérôme in 1866 he was a student at both the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as well as Jefferson Medical College. Upon his return to Philadelphia in 1870, he began painting portraits, mostly of family and friends, as well as his famous rowing scenes on the Schuylkill. In time he was also appointed as the assistant to Dr. W.W. Keen, professor of anatomy at both Jefferson and PAFA.
In 1889, the graduating class of the University of Pennsylvania's Medical School approached Eakins to paint what became "The Agnew Clinic," as a tribute to their revered teacher and surgeon, Dr. David Hayes Agnew, whose retirement was to coincide with their graduation in that year. Eakins was able to complete the large painting in three months' time in order to be presented at the graduation ceremony held at the Academy of Music. He was known to have made sketch studies of all the persons depicted in the painting, though these have not survived. Interestingly, Eakins himself appears at the far right of the painting, in conference with a doctor at Penn, Frederick H. Milliken. The portrait of Eakins was painted by his wife, Susan Macdowell Eakins, at least in part in order to expedite the painting's completion.