Arcadia (painting)

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Arcadia is a c.1883 painting by Thomas Eakins, Goodrich #196. It is part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[1]

Thomas Eakins - Arcadia.jpg
ArtistThomas Eakins
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions38 5/8 x 45 in (98.1 x 114.3 cm)
LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York, U.S.
WebsiteThe Met


G-190. The Swimming Hole (1884-85), Amon Carter Museum.

In the early 1880s, Eakins, instructor in painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, began to photograph models dressed in classical garb or nude and posed in vaguely classical poses. He used his friends and students as models, although taking nude photographs of a student was contrary to PAFA policy.[2] Some of the photographs were used as studies for subsequent works, including those of nude young men swimming and relaxing on the shore of Dove Lake for the painting The Swimming Hole (1884-85).

Eakins's models for Arcadia were his former student and soon-to-be wife, Susan Macdowell, his teaching assistant at PAFA, J. Laurie Wallace, and his six-year-old nephew Ben Crowell (son of his sister Fanny). He photographed them outdoors in a number of poses and used the photographs as studies for Arcadia and several related works.[3] The Arcadian works were very personal to Eakins—he even had himself photographed as the piper.[4]



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  1. ^ Arcadia, from Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  2. ^ W. Douglass Paschall, Thomas Eakins, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2001, pp. 251, 238. ISBN 0-87633-142-8
  3. ^ Phyllis D. Rosenzweig, The Thomas Eakins Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1977, pp. 106-09.
  4. ^ Thomas Eakins, Nude, Playing Pipes, from Metropolitan Museum of Art.