EAKINS, Thomas
(b. 1844, Philadelphia, d. 1916, Philadelphia)

The Champion Single Sculls (Max Schmitt in a Single Scull)

Oil on canvas, 83 x 118 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

In this complex, haunting work, Eakins's passion for sports is suffused with a lyrical response to subtle qualities of light and to the rhythmic placement of forms in deep space. A keen rower, Eakins produced several boating pictures. This painting commemorates the victory of Max Schmitt (1843–1900), an attorney and skilled amateur rower, in an important race held on the Schuylkill River in October 1870. Eakins depicted himself in a scull beyond Schmitt in the middle distance.