The Pianist (Stanley Addicks)

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)

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Addicks appears rapt in thought or perhaps preoccupied by an absorbing melody.

Pianist Stanley Addicks belonged to the circle of friends who provided most of Eakins’ subjects.

Eakins is known for his realism and sensitivity to the psychological aspects of portraiture.

Thomas Eakins and Psychological Realism

Thomas Eakins was born in Philadelphia. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before traveling to Paris in 1866 to study at the École des Beaux Arts. He taught art and anatomy at the Pennsylvania Academy and painted numerous portraits, many of which captured the sitter's personality. In addition to deep psychological penetration, he was known for his uncompromising realism, honesty, and an unsentimental approach to his work. He was a master at painting portraits, not of the social elite, but of his friends, students, and people who interested him.

The Pianist (Stanley Addicks) was painted at the height of Eakins career. The work relies on techniques learned in France, but adopts a blunt approach, dispensing with the conventions of fashionable portraiture. The portrait conveys Addicks's sensitive personality. The sitter exhibits a haunted expression that is characteristic of Eakins's late works. Addicks's contemplative mood is indicated through his blank stare. Eakins also painted Addicks's wife, Weda Cook, immortalizing her in a full-length portrait known as The Concert Singer.

Homer, William Innes. Thomas Eakins: His Life and Art. New York: Abbeville Press, 2002.


Object Information

Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)
creation date
oil on canvas
23-1/2 x 19-3/4 in.
32 x 28-1/2 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
James E. Roberts Fund
Public Domain
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945

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