Toggle

20 North Main St (also enter on 224 Benefit Street) Providence, RI 02903

Closed today

RISD
MUSEUM

Art & Design

Thomas Eakins, Baseball Players Practicing, 1875, Jesse Metcalf Fund and Walter H. Kimball Fund

Thomas Eakins

Baseball Players Practicing

Thomas Eakins American, 1844-1916
Baseball Players Practicing, 1875
Watercolor over charcoal on paper
Plate: 27 x 20.2 cm (10 5/8 x 7 15/16 inches)
Jesse Metcalf Fund and Walter H. Kimball Fund 36.172

Philadelphian Thomas Eakins was eager to find modern American subjects that could enlarge the tradition of historical figurative painting. Contemporary sports—-sculling, sailing, swimming, and boxing—offered him innovative themes and the opportunity to showcase highly defined bodies. RISD’s detailed watercolor is Eakins’s only major work devoted to the developing professional sport of baseball. In a letter of 1875 to artist Everett Shinn, Eakinspointed out that the ball players were portraits of Athletic boys, a Philadelphia club, at practice. They were “very fine in their build,” he told Shinn, and the scene would “admit of fine figure painting.” One of Eakins’s favored works, he exhibited it many times in the decade after its completion.


Other Drawings and Watercolors

Previous Next