Thomas Eakins. A May Morning in the Park (The Fairman Roger’s Four-in-Hand). 1879-80. Oil on canvas. Philadelphia.
In class, we spoke about the intimidation of painters by the invention and growing popularity of photography. Many painters felt that photographers would take over their jobs. The reason I chose this painting is because of the movement illustrated in the image. Eakins, the painter, was one of the first painters to paint animals in motion. The capability to paint the motion of the horses with great precision was made possible with help from improvements on the camera. I also found the contrast of color in the painting intriguing. The men all in dark suits with a single woman in a light colored dress with a single red umbrella above their heads. The way the light falls upon them is interesting as well. It keeps the men in the shade, almost blending into the scenic background, with the woman and horses much lighter, perhaps suggesting that they are the most important part of this painting.