Head of the Water Nymph (Model for "William Rush Carving the Allegorical Figure of the Schuylkill River")

Thomas Eakins, American, 1844 - 1916

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America


Pigmented wax, wood, and metal tubing

7 1/4 x 4 3/8 x 3 3/4 inches (18.4 x 11.1 x 9.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 118, American Art, first floor (Provident National Bank Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Thomas Eakins and Miss Mary Adeline Williams, 1929

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In one preparatory stage for the William Rush painting, Eakins made a series of wax figurines that could be studied from various points of view and in different lights. In addition to the wax models of the principal sculptures to be featured in the canvas—George Washington, The Schuylkill Freed, and Water Nymph and Bittern—he made a model of the nymph's head and, largest and most detailed of all, a portrait of Rush taken largely from the sculptor's 1822 self-portrait (now in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts).

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