This subdued but intense portrait by Thomas Eakins shows the painter's sister absorbed in the experience of playing the piano in the family's Philadelphia home. The composition's serious atmosphere is set by light streaming in from the left side, which dramatically activates Frances' red sash. Eakins' otherwise restricted palette and elimination of distracting details emphasize her concentrated performance and indirectly reflect the painter's own work ethic, rooted in thorough preparation and intellectual rigor. The gravitas of Frances Eakins might also be attributed to the unhappy circumstances that Eakins encountered upon returning home from study in Paris. During this period, the artist and ...
Oil on canvas
24.1 x 19.9in
Image and text: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023
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