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Thomas Eakins - Scenes from Modern Life HOME
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Danaë, Titian Rotonda del Museo del Prado, Pedro Kuntz Las Hilanderas, Velasquez
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On November 29, 1869, Eakins boards a train for Madrid. His first stop is the Prado, to see the work of the Spanish masters.  
When Eakins was traveling he kept a pocket notebook, that he would jot down, literally his expenses but also advice to himself. And he kept this notebook when he was walking through the Prado, and wrote down in French, his observations on the paintings that he was observing. So he stuck his nose close to the surface of Velasquez or Rembrandt and commented, made little notes on how he thought the painting had been accomplished... And it stunned Eakins -- he was thrilled.

When he was in the Prado and stood in front of Velasquez painting of The Spinners. He said this is the most beautiful painting I have ever seen in my life. He was overwhelmed; he was very, very excited. And of course he wanted to paint like that.
KATHLEEN A. FOSTER, Ph.D.
Curator, Indiana University Art Museum
"Goya. I never saw more character in children's heads than his studies for a large family portrait. He changed positions slightly and made abominable stiff commonplace work. His studies rubbed on yellow ground darker than his flesh... the pictures of Castiglione are of a very fine color. The pictures of Titian, or Veronese and Tintoretto do not show much cracking... In Titian's picture the "rain" on Danae and the thigh of the female show cracking in the light areas, but the shadows, which are very dark and strongly colored, do not show any at all... Velasquez does a lot of glazing with quite transparent color in shaded areas, but it is very solidly painted underneath... I think Ribera and Rembrandt proceeded the same way, the only method, in my opinion, that can give both delicacy and strength at the same time... All the progress I have made so far has been the result of the discoveries that have permitted me to divide my energies and my work methods. Let us ever divide things up so as to get as strong a start as possible. This is the way I think The Tapestry Weaver was painted, the finest piece of painting I have ever seen." Eakins' Spanish Notebook
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