The Champion Single Sculls (Max Schmitt in a Single Scull)

Artist: Thomas Eakins (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1844–1916 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Date: 1871

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 32 1/4 x 46 1/4 in. (81.9 x 117.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment Fund and George D. Pratt Gift, 1934

Accession Number: 34.92


Returning to Philadelphia from Europe in 1870, Eakins began a series of representations of the sport of sculling, a subject for which he is uniquely identified. This is the first major work in that series of paintings and watercolors. It is believed to commemorate the victory of Max Schmitt (1843–1900), an attorney and skilled amateur rower, in an important race on the Schuylkill River in October 1870. Also an avid rower, Eakins depicted himself pulling the oars of a scull in the middle distance.