In this arresting portrait, Thomas Eakins shows Monsignor James Patrick Turner standing before the Lady Chapel in Philadelphia’s Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul. Skeptical of organized religion, the painter nonetheless conveyed his admiration for Turner’s intellect and discipline by filling his vertical composition with the cleric’s imposing frame. Turned to his right side, the Monsignor appears engaged in serious thought. The cleric’s deep-red vestments demand the viewer’s attention. This portrait is one of 14 that Eakins completed of clergymen at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. The painter began the series with an intimate, bustlength likeness of Turner. Eakins may have executed this grander, full-length portrait to commemorate the cleric’s ascent to the high rank of Prothonotary Apostolic in 1906.


  • Title: Monsignor James P. Turner
  • Creator: Thomas Eakins
  • Creator Lifespan: 1844 - 1916
  • Date Created: ca. 1906
  • Physical Dimensions: w1063.5 x h2238.5 in (Unframed)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Gift of the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation, Gift of the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Culture: American

Additional Items

Monsignor James P. Turner (Supplemental)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps