Artist: Thomas Eakins
Completion Date: 1877
Genre: genre painting
Gallery: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA
William Rush and His Model is the name given to several paintings by Thomas Eakins, one set from 1876-77 and the other from 1908. These works depict the American wood sculptor William Rush in 1808, carving his statue Water Nymph and Bittern for a fountain at Philadelphia's first waterworks. Eakins's interest in William Rush originated from a desire to restore Rush's name to prominence in the history of American art. Eakins taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, of which Rush had been a founder. Eakins was a strong believer in teaching human anatomy, and insisted that his students study from nude models. Since it is unlikely that Rush had employed a nude model for his sculpture of a draped water nymph, the painting may be viewed as Eakins's demonstration of the importance of studying anatomy from nudes.