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Back of Draped Female Holding Vase

School of Thomas Eakins

Back of Draped Female Holding Vase, c. 1900

Charcoal and Wash on Paper


Thomas Eakins is one of Philadelphia’s best-known 19th century painters. Classically trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he later taught, and in Europe under Jean-Léon Gerôme, Eakins is best known as a portrait painter. He developed an early interest in anatomy and learned to paint minute details from Gerôme, often using the combined knowledge to paint disconcertingly life-like images. Eakins’ loose brushwork, reminiscent of Velazquez, is enhanced by the artist’s ability to depict the vulnerability and humanity of his subjects. His portraits are often physically unflattering and strongly psychological, accentuating not just his sitters’ outward appearance, but their interior as well.

Current Condition of the Artwork:

The charcoal and chalk sketch on tan wove paper is mounted overall to an acidic, deteriorated, and brittle board with heat-set, dry-mount paper. The sketch paper is in otherwise, relatively good condition. There is a 1 ¼” tear at the top center. There are miscellaneous inclusions in the paper. The media is slightly rubbed away and the white chalk is pale.

 Conservation Treatment Proposed: 

  • Test/remove backing with organic solvents.
  • Clean surface and remove accretions.
  • Mend/reinforce.
  • Humidify and flatten.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field.

 Estimated Cost of Treatment:  $1,200.00