Create a painting, photograph or sculpture of a classmate adopting the same pose as Van Buren. How does your subject look in this pose and what does it reveal about them?
Eakins used many diagonal lines in this composition. Print out this image, and then take a sheet of transparent paper and trace the longest lines that you can find in the composition.
The sitter’s pose of the downcast face and head resting on one hand is known as the “melancholic pose,” which had been used by artists for hundreds of years. Research other portraits and find other images similar in to this one composition.
The sitter seems to be absorbed in deep thought. Imagine what she might be thinking and write a paragraph about it. Use her expression, posture and other details in the painting to support what you write.
Amelia Van Buren was an artist. She was a student of Eakins and then a well-known photographer. Write a report on women artists who were active during the 1890s. Were women artists common during that period? What types of artistic fields where they engaged in?
Eakins was a devoted student of human anatomy. Zoomify parts of this painting, such as Van Buren’s left hand, and see if you can make out the skeletal structure beneath the skin.