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.
Said to art critic Riter Fitzgerald, who quoted Eakins in an article in the Philadelphia Item (1895); from Sylvan Schendler, Eakins (1967), ch. 10
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
Strain your brain more than your eye... You can copy a thing to a certain limit. Then you must use intellect.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