National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Biglin Brothers Racing Thomas Eakins (artist)
American, 1844 - 1916
The Biglin Brothers Racing, 1872
oil on canvas
overall: 61.2 x 91.6 cm (24 1/8 x 36 1/16 in.) framed: 74.9 x 105.7 x 5.4 cm (29 1/2 x 41 5/8 x 2 1/8 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney
1953.7.1
On View
From the Tour: Homer and Eakins: American Painters in the Late 1800s
Object 2 of 8

Conservation Notes

The support is a fine, plain-weave fabric that has been lined. A note in the NGA curatorial files states that before 1930 the initials T.E. were visible on the back of the canvas, which suggests that the present lining was added at about that date. The ground is a smooth white layer over which a slick charcoal gray tone was applied. The gray tone is visible in the water, where the artist scraped through the paint, perhaps intentionally, creating a shimmering effect. The paint is relatively fluid, applied with considerable variation in texture, and as a rule with one area of paint brought up to but not overlapping another. Treatment of the painting from 1981 to 1983 revealed considerable abrasion in the boat and in the water, where poor adhesion between the gray layer and the water had caused paint losses, and in the sky, where a gray layer applied over the blue had been unevenly removed in an earlier restoration, perhaps in an attempt to brighten the sky.

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