Cecilia Beaux, “Seated Girl in a Long Black Dress,” oil sketch

Historical master Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) used oil sketches both in his studio practice and as a teaching tool at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The institution is now offering a great exhibition featuring artworks by alumni and faculty that provides insight into the efficacy and practice of oil sketches, highlighting Eakins’ influence.

On view now through February 4, 2018 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, “The Loaded Brush” is a must-see exhibition that demonstrates the depth and breadth of the legacy of oil sketching. Among the artist alumni and faculty represented are Susan Macdowell Eakins, Thomas Anshutz, Cecilia Beaux, Alica Barber Stephens, Violet Oakley, Arthur B. Carles, Faye Swengel Badura, Arthur DeCosta, Seymour Remenick, Lou Sloan, Elizabeth Osborne, Vincent Desiderio, Bill Scott, Stanley Bielen, and Renée Foulks.

“Included are a number of rarely-seen artworks from the 19th century to the present,” the exhibition webpage says, “featuring diverse talents and styles depicting a variety of subject matter. Artists who followed [Eakins] were inspired by the visual poetry and potential of the practice and were inspired in turn to follow his methods. Others reacted against the method, but grasped the intent, applying oil sketching to expressive, chromatic, or perceptive experiments.”

To learn more, visit the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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