Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round One: Eakins v. Elsheimer!

The Infinite Art Tournament is Proud to Introduce: the E's.

Thomas Eakins
1844 - 1916


Adam Elsheimer
1578 - 1610
German; worked in Italy


Vote for the artist of your choice!  Votes go in the comments.  Commentary and links to additional work are welcome.  Polls open for at least one month past posting.


Elizabeth said...

Going with Eakins' "Whole Bunch Of People Waiting To See Blood" pieces, rather than Elsheimer's "Whole Bunch Of People Waiting To See Blood, But In A Really Badly-Arranged And Visually Confusing Tableau" (though I quite like the facial expressions on many in that crowd; on the other hand I'm not all that taken with the peasant hut in Els' second offering).

pfly said...

Huh, well, I had to do some research since I had not heard of either of these guys, or barely so. And the examples here are interesting for both guys. But after some research, I'll say Eakins, for various reasons--quite a few nice paintings, his photography work, his role in American art, and so on. I'm not much of a fan of boxing paintings, but I am of medical "theater", for some reason. And Eakins has a few of those. One is even called "The Gross Clinic"! Because, you know, it's of the surgeon Dr. Gross? Right. Eakins.

Christine M. said...


Morgan said...

Eakins is really, really good. I shall vote for him.

Nichim said...

Ay yay yay. This is a set of four paintings in which I do not understand what is going on. I prefer, for their colors, the confusing paintings of Eakins. Also, they are somewhat less confusing. I understand that the first one is about boxing, I just don't know what the man in the blue shirt is waving at the boxer (a small white pelican? A little girl's dress?) and why the boxer looks so annoyed about it. And I understand that the first one is about some kind of surgery, perhaps as a demonstration for medical students? Or a piece of performance art? An erotic spectacle? Elsheimer is just putting way too much into his pictures. Do angels really trail little babies around with them like that? Even when they're on emergency calls to save someone from having his head bashed in? If that is even what's happening? And I like all the domestic items in the second picture, like wool hanging from the rafters, although I wouldn't leave my fish just sitting around like that, especially with a goose on the loose. But what is that fabric-wrapped bolus that looks like a hassock? And is something significant supposed to be happening in this scene? It's like one of those movies that doesn't make sense but tries to make you feel stupid because you don't understand how everything is connected. I vote for Eakins.

Chuckdaddy said...

I like Elsheimer's first one, but Eakins' boxing match? Wow. That honestly might be my favorite painting yet in this tournament. Here's to Eakins making a deep run.

mrs.5000 said...

Eakins! Eakins! Eakins!

Though I spent more time than I should have trying to figure out the Elsheimer interior--I was going to dub it "Jacob, Esau, and the Big Cabbage" but turns out, hey, it's Baucis and Philemon being hospitable to incognito gods. Once you know the bumpkins on the left are Zeus and Mercury, then details like the earflaps on Mercury's hunting cap are actually quite charming.

Michael5000 said...

Eakins, Eakins, and more Eakins.

Michael5000 said...

An email voter opines that "Eakins is Easy."

Candida said...

I have to admit, I love the Elsheimer's bleeding guy. Not because he's bleeding, though. That might be perverse. The clarity and the expressiveness of his face--which is, as many people have pointed out, one of approximately 250 faces in this picture--and did you realize this painting is 14 inches by 11 inches?? That is some amazing detail work--with relatively little detail, is completely sublime.

And the second one? It doesn't compete with the first one, but--a duck! Fish in a basket with, I guess, grapes?! A painting on the wall of the hovel or cottage or whatever it is, and ladders to lofts and suchlike goodness. Plus, I think the feet are well done, and that's not easy.

I don't think Elsheimer's getting enough love here, is what I'm saying.

That said, I have seen an Eakins in real life, and it was an awesome experience.

Still, color me crazy for voting for Elsheimer, but do it in tiny, tiny brushstrokes and incredible detail, with vivid pinks and blues and reds.

lamanyana said...

hmm.. I missed this - Eakins. I guess.

Michael5000 said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, a rout! as Eakins dissects Elsheimer, 10-1. Thanks to Candida for -- and not for the first time -- preserving the principle that a democratic society does not vote unanimously to pass an artist on to the next round.

Voting closed in this one.