The Revenge of Thomas Eakins
Thomas Eakins was misunderstood in life, his brilliant work earned little acclaim, and hidden demons tortured and drove him. Yet the portraits he painted more than a century ago captivate us today, and he is now widely acclaimed as the finest portrait painter our nation has ever produced. The Revenge of Thomas Eakins, a new book by critically acclaimed author Sidney Kirkpatrick, recounts this artist’s life in fascinating detail, drawing on a treasure trove of Eakins family correspondence and papers that have only recently been discovered.
“Like his subject, Mr. Kirkpatrick is relentless in the best sense of the word,” says a recent review of the book in the New York Sun. He is “dispassionate and objective in a surgically precise way, and yet completely involved, investing his subject with a pathos and grandeur that only the finest biographies attain.”
Eakins’s life story is told by Kirkpatrick “with crispness and confidence,” says the Washington Post, and “with estimable seriousness and care,” according to a review of the book in this weekend’s New York Times Book Review. “Kirkpatrick knows how to make a narrative zip along,” the Times review continues. “He writes in a clean, strictly-the-facts way and acquaints us with a sizable cast that includes the artist’s many sitters.”