Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Earl Conee on Thomas Eakins


This is entry #17 in our ongoing 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: Earl Conee (Rochester)

Artwork: Thomas Eakins, Mrs. Edith Mahon (1903)

Words: The portrait by Thomas Eakins, Mrs. Edith Mahon, encourages us to wonder what is on the subject’s mind – what she sees and what she thinks and feels. We can acknowledge that Eakins may have created the expression. Neither Edith Mahon nor anyone else need ever have looked just that way. But it is extremely difficult to take that possibility seriously. The psychology portrayed is too genuine.  There is something wonderful about that.

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