This softcover, 152 page book examines a single painting that is now widely regarded as an American masterpiece: Swimming, completed in 1885 by the Philadelphia artist, Thomas Eakins (1844-1916).END
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"One of the chief reasons that Thomas Eakins' Swimming compels admiration is its overwhelming quiet - a stillness not of lassitude or ease but of taut balance sustained on many levels." "...on the surface the scene in Swimming pays clear homage to the natural life, featuring six men, swimming, sunning, naked, and at ease with themselves. The only overt signs of domestication in the benign landscape they inhabit is the stone platform - too orderly to be natural but having no obvious present use to justify the effort of its construction - and the dog. No bathing houses or other reminders of a resort establishment, no pile of discarded shoes or stiff collars intrudes to suggest another existence, of labor or a wider society, to which they must ultimately return. They are released, it seems, from late-nineteenth-century urban protocols."
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