Taking the Count Artist: Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)


American Paintings and Sculpture

Not on view

Taking the Count celebrates Thomas Eakins’s lifelong fascination with athleticism and human endurance. A fallen fighter struggles to recover from a punishing blow, as all eyes in the crowd focus on the referee counting off the seconds that could mark the end of the match. The actual fight took place in Philadelphia on Friday, April 29, 1898, between Charley McKeever (standing) and Jack Daly and was refereed by H. Walter Schlichter. Until Eakins undertook the subject, visual representations of prize fighting had been found almost exclusively in the press and in prints. With this monumental painting, the first of Eakins's three great boxing pictures, the artist placed the theme into the context of the fine arts, a stunning statement set against the genteel conventions of the period.


Oil on canvas


104 × 92 1/2 × 2 1/2 in. (264.2 × 235 × 6.4 cm)

Credit Line

Whitney Collections of Sporting Art, given in memory of Harry Payne Whitney, B.A. 1894, and Payne Whitney, B.A. 1898, by Francis P. Garvan, B.A. 1897, M.A. (Hon.) 1922

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Francis P. Garvan (1875–1937), New York; given to the Yale University Art Gallery in the Whitney Collection of Sporting Art, New Haven, Conn., 1932
  • Allen Guttmann, Sports and American Art from Benjamin West to Andy Warhol (Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts, 2011), 110, fig. 18
  • Victor Andrade de Melo, Esporte, Lazer e Artes Plasticas: Diálogos (Rio de Janeiro: Apicuri, 2009), pp. 109, ill
  • Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 102–3, fig. 97
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

figures (representations), human figures (visual works)


Signed lower left "Eakins '98"

Technical metadata and APIs


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