The Softer Side of Winslow Homer

The people of Prout’s Neck, Maine thought of their neighbor, Winslow Homer, as a character and a curmudgeon.

The sign Winslow Homer used to discourage visitors.

To discourage unwelcome guests who might disturb him while he worked, Homer put a sign outside his door that read, “Snakes. Snakes. Mice!”

Homer lived and worked in his Prout’s Neck Studio, overlooking the coast of Maine, from 1883 until his death in 1910. Homer’s older brother, Charles, a real estate developer, bought the property on Prout’s Neck to build a family compound.

Homer chose to live in the carriage house, which he had converted to a studio with a deck overlooking the ocean.

Winslow Homer
Weatherbeaten, 1894

The Winslow Homer Studio was declared a National Landmark in 1966. In 2006, the Portland Museum of Art purchased the property from Homer’s great-grand nephew, Chip Willauer. and embarked on a six-year renovation project that restored the building to they way it appeared during Homer’s life and, in 2012, opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Homer lived and worked in New York before moving to Prout’s Neck. He traveled to France and to England before settling back home in America.

Winslow Homer
Artists Sketching in the White Mountains, 1868

His career as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly took him to rural New England, where the idea of tourism was just beginning to take hold.

In a clever and humorous look at the new phenomenon of rural tourism, Homer painted Artists Sketching in the White Mountains. He is front and center in the painting, signing his name on the briefcase in the foreground.

The Softer Side of Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer rarely placed himself in his work. As an illustrator, and later an independent artist, he acted as an observer of the world around him.

Winslow Homer
Barn Raising Prout’s Neck, 1901
Pencil on paper
5 x 7 1/2 inches
Signed (l.l.)
For sale at Surovek

His drawing Barn Raising depicts his Prout’s Neck neighbors engaged in what is a very communal act. Although Homer lived in the community, his view of the Barn Raising is done from a long distance, by an observer and not a participant.

Winslow Homer
Yacht in a Cove, Gloucester, 1880
Watercolor on paper
10 x 13 3/4 inches
Signed and dated: Homer 1880 (l.l.)
For sale at Surovek

Homer was able to infuse a sensitivity into each of his works, whether he painted a raging sea or a lone wanderer in the woods.

Winslow Homer
Tree Across the Trail, c.1894
Watercolor on paper
13 1/4 x 19 inches
For sale at Surovek

Winslow Homer Works For Sale at Surovek Gallery

Please contact us for more information about Barn Raising, Yacht in a Cove, Gloucester, Tree Across the Trail or any of the other fine works available at the Surovek Gallery.

See More Winslow Homer Artwork for Sale

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