As his statement “In these Leaves, everything is literally photographed” indicates, Walt Whitman (1819-1892) consistently desires to represent his poetry like photography. Learning the power of photography from his contemporary American photographers, Whitman could visualize his poetry like a series of photographs. Whitman shares remarkable artistic similarities with Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) who has been regarded as one of the most representative realist painters in the history of American art. Whitman realizes that Eakins`s paintings are closely related to photography involving “mechanical”, “honest”, and “realistic” elements. Particularly, Whitman visualizes his poetry by using his characteristic catalogue technique which strongly evokes a series of snapshots of various things, people and places. In Eakins`s paintings such as The Gross Clinic and Walt Whitman, Whitman sharply captures the “realities and science” images that only photography provides. Eakins was in many ways akin to Whitman. The two artists celebrated in their art a commitment to the naked body, science, and the physical and mental benefits associated with vigorous outdoor activities. Significantly, Eakins`s The Swimming Hole in 1885 can be regarded as a pictorial equivalent of Whitman`s poems such as “Song of Myself” and “I Sing the Body Electric” reflecting the celebration of the naked male bodies. Based on a series of photographs at the same site, the painting suggests the two artists` mutual preoccupation with the naked male body through their peering eyes like a camera. Rebelling against the genteel tradition of the Victorian Age, Whitman shares the same iconoclastic perspective with Eakins for their stark and uncompromising depictions of the naked male bodies. Above all, the “photographic fantasy” in the painting and the poems suggests the visual tactility. Undoubtedly, The Swimming Hole is the essence of Eakins`s aesthetics which regards the naked male body as “the most beautiful thing” in the world in the same way that Whitman compares the “strong sweet quality” of the male body with “the best poem”. Whitman has become an eternal muse in Eakins`s imagination even after the poet died in 1892. The remarkable artistic similarities between the two artists are ultimately found in Eakins`s Between Rounds in 1899. In the painting, Eakins exquisitely revives Whitman as a spectator who gazes at a half-naked boxer. It becomes evident that the photographic images, which Whitman and Eakins represent, are far ahead of their time and suggest the new realistic expression. Transcending the bounds of ages and media, photography plays an essential role for constructing Whitman and Eakins`s pursuit of a new aesthetics, namely, American realism.