Strain your brain more than your eye... You can copy a thing to a certain limit. Then you must use intellect.
Advice to his art students; quoted in Lloyd Goodrich, Thomas Eakins (1933)
When a man paints a naked woman he gives her less than poor Nature did. I can conceive of few circumstances wherein I would have to paint a woman naked, but if I did I would not mutilate her for double the money. She is the most beautiful thing there is except a naked man, but I never saw a study of one exhibited.Thomas Eakins
A teacher can do very little for a pupil and should only be thankful if he don't hinder him, and the greater the master, mostly the less he can say.Thomas Eakins
As some of you know, I some years ago a few painted a picture of Mr. Whitman. I began in the usual way, but soon found that the ordinary methods wouldn't do that technique, rules and traditions would have to be thrown aside; that before all else, he was to be treated as a man, whatever became of what are commonly called the principles of art.Thomas Eakins
I have never discovered that the nude could be studied in any way except the way I have adopted. All the muscles must be pointed out. To do this all the drapery must be removed.Thomas Eakins
I never knew of but one artist, and that's Tom Eakins, who could resist the temptation to see what they think ought to be rather than what is.Thomas Eakins