Thomas Eakins, The Gross Clinic, 1875.

Even more resolutely a Realist than Homer was Philadelphia-born Thomas Eakins (1844-1916). The too-brutal realism of Eakins’s early masterpiece, The Gross Clinic, prompted the art jury to reject it for the Philadelphia exhibition that celebrated the American independence centennial in 1876. The work presents the surgeon Dr. Samuel Gross in the operating amphitheater of the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Gross, with bloody fingers and scalpel, lectures about his surgery on a young man’s leg. Watching the surgeon are several colleagues, all of whom historians have identified, and the patient’s mother, who covers her face. The painting is an unsparing description of an unfolding event, with a good deal more reality than many viewers could endure. “It is a picture,” one critic said, “that even strong men find difficult to look at long, if they can look at it at all.”

@1 year ago with 178 notes
#Art History #AP Art History #Thomas Eakins #The Gross Clinic #Realism 
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