6.2 th…Post: ……Walt Whitman
Posted on: July 23rd, 2011 by dan 182 Comments


Thaddeus, Jude Thaddeus, why did Thomas Eakins decide on profiling Walt Whitman. In the creation of his version of The Last Supper Thomas Eakins accepted Leonardo’s groupings of three. Although, at this point I believe that he did not wish to encroach too closely upon the image of Jesus, thereupon deciding upon the two outer groups. In Eakins decision making, he certainly studied the profiles and mentally knew which of those in his circle would fit neatly within the painting. I am sure that he knew just where he would fit. And even seeing himself in such an ideal position and that of Walt Whitman might easily have been the tipping point in this creativity. For the position of Thaddeus, no other of his circle of friends fit more ideally than Walt Whitman. Moreover, the age and profile of his circle all had to fit those that Leonardo depicted.

 Pictures  by  Dan Breslin

No person alive knew better the features of Walt Whitman, than Thomas Eakins. Walt Whitman was 72 years old when he died on Saturday, March 26, 1892. Thomas Eakins and his studio associate, Samuel Murray, gathered their tools and on Sunday, March 27, immediately went to Walt  Whitman’s  home located at 330 Mickel Street  in Camden, NJ.   There they proceeded to cast a death mask of the dead Walt Whitman. This was done out of love. They wished to preserve his exact features for later generations.

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Shortly thereafter they cast a Whitman bust in their studio located at 1330 Chestnut Street in Phila. PA.

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This bust was later used by Samuel Murray and Thomas Eakins when Samuel Murray in Sept. 1896 was awarded a major contract to cast ten colossal terracotta biblical prophets for the 8th floor facade of the Witherspoon building in Phila. Six of these figures were modeled after their circle of friends. Those colossal figures were later removed for safety reasons.

Walt Whitman was profiled as Moses.

Is it  just coincidental that six of Leonardo’s apostles were also profiled after Thomas Eakins and his circle of friends? In addition, Samuel Murray is profiled as one of the apostles in Eakins’, The Last Supper.


However, Thomas Eakins did know well the features of Walt Whitman, his beloved friend.

I have closely examined the picture that I have of Leonardo’s, The Last Supper and the picture I have of Thomas Eakins’ The Last Supper along with the painting  by Thomas Eakins.    I have examined everything under magnification.  There is no question about the switch.  The nose, the eye brows, lips, hair, there is no question about the switch.  Thomas Eakins was clever and maybe even  a genius.


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COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  To avoid any possible copyright conflict we have been advised  by our legal department to forgo any content feeders  and make no direct link to social medias nor other web sites.  Our painting The Last Supper by Thomas Eakins might be the most important American painting of the 19th century. It is an AMERICAN  ICON.   All the material on this site is original and copyrighted  and we must take all possible precaution in protecting those rights.    Permission to make use of any part  of this website, The Last Supper.info, must first be approved and approval must be in writing  from our Legal Department.   © 2011-2012: DanBreslin


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