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Study for "William Rush Carving His Allegorical Figure of the Schuylkill River"

A work made of oil on canvas mounted on board.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas mounted on board.




Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)

About this artwork

Best known for his realist portraits and scenes of contemporary life, Thomas Eakins also spent considerable energy on history paintings. Here, he executed a study for a painting that celebrates an early American sculptor, William Rush. In the finished painting, Rush is depicted carving his Water Nymph and Bittern (1809), for which the model poses; the statue adorned a public square in Philadelphia, the hometown of both artists. Eakins, an ardent advocate of studying from life, highlights this artistic working method in his rendering of the female form. In 1870s America, artistic studies from the nude figure remained a rarity, a condition that Eakins worked hard to overturn in the following years as an instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.


On View, Gallery 176


Arts of the Americas


Thomas Eakins


Study for "William Rush Carving His Allegorical Figure of the Schuylkill River"


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1876–1877


Oil on canvas mounted on board


35.9 × 28.6 cm (14 1/8 × 11 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Dr. John J. Ireland

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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