Thomas Cowperthwaite Eakins was born on July 25, 1844 in Philadelphia, USA. He studied at the High School of Philadelphia and eventually went to Paris to study art at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He returned to Philadelphia and teached painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fina Arts.
Eakins' accent was on classical techniques of working from life, including use of nude models which, at that time, brought puritanical criticism against him. Eakins used photography as an aid to composition, in such he was a pioneer.
Eakins is regarded as one of finest realist painters and portraitists of his day, and one of the top American artists of any period.
Thomas Eakins died on June 25, 1916.