Student of Jean-Léon Gérôme, Léon Bonnat
Teacher of Thomas Anshutz
Thomas Eakins began his training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in his native Philadelphia before traveling to France, becoming the second American student of Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Upon his return, Eakins was hired to teach at the Pennsylvania Academy, where he was instrumental in rewriting the curriculum to incorporate much of the French academic methods he had learned under Gérôme and during his brief study with Léon Bonnat. His emphasis on the structure and anatomy of the human form, which constituted most of his teaching, is also reflected in his paintings, earning his considerable reputation as one of America’s greatest painters and teachers.