Signora Gomez d'Arza

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

Date: 1901–2

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 61 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: George A. Hearn Fund, 1927

Accession Number: 27.220


Although Signora Gomez d’Arza did not belong to Eakins’s immediate circle, she inspired one of his most eloquent portraits. An actress of Italian ancestry, she was married to Enrico Gomez d’Arza, the impresario of a small theater that Eakins and his wife visited in the Italian quarter of Philadelphia. Susan Eakins recalled in 1927: “They were very poor, depending on their acting and Signora’s teaching young actors, for a living. They could not speak English. Mr. Eakins spoke Italian and learned from her that she had had tragic experiences in her early life. She was about thirty years old when the portrait was painted.