On the 25th of July 1844, American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and fine arts educator Thomas Eakins was born in Philadelphia, U.S. Sometimes called America’s greatest painter, Eakins conducted many scientific investigations in anatomy, mathematics, perspective, and photography, which were vital to his art. He used photography as both a science and an art. In addition to his famous studies of animal locomotion with Eadweard Muybridge, Eakins also created other forms of photographs of remarkable psychological depth and beauty, among them, numerous nude studies of his family, students, professional models, and Eakins himself. “For Eakins the nude human figure became a symbol of freedom, intellectual and sexual liberty, and opposition to narrow-minded prudery. …Eakins saw the nude not as a transcendent image, nor as an allegorical or traditional one: it was a marvel of nature, the superb end product of centuries of evolution. To see and study the body in this way…
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