Advanced Search

David Wilson Jordan

Date: 1899
60 x 28 in. (152.4 x 71.1 cm.)
Medium: oil on canvas
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Purchased with funds from the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation
Object Number: 99.27
Label Text:Thomas Eakins's unconventional portrait of his friend David Wilson Jordan is intimate, yet off-putting. Eakins positioned Jordan close to the picture plane, as if near the viewer. At the same time, Eakins posed Jordan with his back turned to the viewer, as though denying insight into his character. Such enigmatic portraits became characteristic of Eakins's work toward the end of his career.

Eakins taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1873 to 1886, when he was fired after a series of scandals that included posing a nude male model before a drawing class full of women. Jordan studied with Eakins from 1879 until at least 1881 and went on to become a well-known landscape painter.