Can you think of anything better than the feeling of the cold sea water on your body, on a hot summer day? Sign in. Log into your account. Password recovery. Forgot your password? Get help. Melissa Faithful for Art-Sheep Can you think of anything better than the feeling of the cold sea water on your body, on a hot summer day? Inspired by the colors and its psychological and physical effects, Craver began his career as an abstract painter and figurative sculptor.
Executed in oil on canvas , it depicts six men swimming naked in a lake, and is considered a masterpiece of American painting. In this work, Eakins took advantage of an exception to the generally prudish Victorian attitude to nudity : swimming naked was widely accepted,  and for males was seen as normal, even in public spaces. Eakins was the first American artist to portray one of the few occasions in 19th-century life when nudity was on display. The Swimming Hole develops themes raised in his earlier work, in particular his treatment of buttocks and his ambiguous treatment of the human form; in some cases it is uncertain as to whether the forms portrayed are male or female. Such themes had earlier been examined in his The Gross Clinic and William Rush , and would continue to be explored in his paintings of boxers Taking the Count , Salutat , and Between Rounds and wrestlers Wrestlers. Although the theme of male bathers was familiar in Western art , having been explored by artists from Michelangelo to Daumier ,  Eakins' treatment was novel in American art at the time.
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