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Biography of Winslow Homer
American Naturalist painter, engraver, etcher & illustrator
born 1836 - died 1910
Member of: Tile Club
Subjects: marine, realism, American landscapes; watercolor, oil painting
The sun will not rise or set without my notice, and thanks, - Winslow Homer, 1895
Perhaps it was this notice of and gratitude for the beauty of the cycles of nature that helped make
one of America's most treasured artists. The United States has produced its own breed of artists true to the vision and
character of the nation. In the nineteenth century, one of its greatest American
landscape painter was Winslow Homer. Classified as an American naturalist
painter, Homer the artist was a self-taught artist who became most famous for his views of the American landscapes and most notably
Homer paintings seascape off of the Maine coastline where Winslow Homer lived during the latter part of his life.
Harper's sent painter Homer to the front during the American Civil War, where the painter did sketches of battle scenes and mundane camp life. Although these did not gain him much note at the time, they were to influence much of later Winslow Homer works. Back at his studio after the war, he set to work on several war-related paintings by Homer, among them Sharpshooter on Picket Duty and Prisoners from the Front.
After exhibiting at the National Academy of Design, Winslow Homer traveled to France in 1867 and began practicing painting landscapes while continuing to work for his. Homer artist began to paint in watercolor, and in 1875 he ended his career as a commercial illustrator, concentrating on Winslow paintings.
He traveled widely and spent two years (1882-83) in England, where his boyhood Later in Lifeinterest in the
sea was rekindled. He moved to Prout's Neck, Maine (near Scarboro) and began painting seascapes, for which Winslow Homer is perhaps best
known. Notable among these are Banks Fisherman, Eight Bells, Gulf Stream, Rum Cay, Mending the Nets, and Searchlight,
harbor Entrance, Santiago de Cuba. In order to find locations for Winslow Homer
art seascapes, the painter often took trips to such locations as
Florida and the Caribbean.
The artist died at the age of 74 in his Prout's Neck studio. Winslow Homer works, Shoot the Rapids, remained unfinished. His paintings already in great demand during his lifetime, are widely sought today.
|Idealizations of the peasant, reflecting an anxiety that folk culture was being annihilated by the gravitational field of the city, were the stock of dozens of painters like Jules Breton, Jules Bastien-Lepage and jean-François Millet. His own America had its anxieties too-immense ones. Nothing in its cultural history is more striking than the virtual absence of any mention of the central American trauma of the nineteenth century, the Civil War, from paintings by Winslow Homer. Its fratricidal miseries were left to writers (Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane) to explore, and to photographers. But art Winslow Homer served as a way of oblivion-of reconstructing an idealized innocence.|
|This sometimes looks false, but it was exactly the kind of falsity that appealed to popular taste, and Winslow Homer watercolors of leaping trout and thrashing bass, the Big Fish dominating the foreground, are a curious conjunction of the merely illustrative and the frenetically decorative. In his sober moods he was rarely off-key. Homer Winslow paintings Adirondack have the astringent completeness of the Michigan woods in early Hemingway. Perhaps no work has ever conveyed a hunter's anxiety better than Hound and Hunter, with its flustered boy in the dinghy trying to get a rope on a shot stag's antlers before its corpse sinks, lurching to and fro in a cave of forest darkness and disturbed silver ripples.|
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