Happy Birthday Thomas Eakins!! American painter, born in 1844, Thomas Eakins was a realism painter of the ninetheenth century. He was born in Philadelphia and other than a period of study in Paris, lived there his entire life. While some artists who travel and study abroad turn away from American genre, he became more attuned to life around him. He was committed to painting the world around him and was also a great teacher in this respect. Eakins encouraged his students to paint what was before them rather than what they felt the subject should look like. The portrait of Walt Whitman exemplifies his honesty in approach.