Ahead of his time, the first paintings of the sea that Homer exhibited in New York were panned by the critics. Writer and critic Henry James wrote that Homer's paintings were, “almost barbarously simple” with “no imagination.” Although James did add that “there is something one likes about him.” Homer's use of diffuse light and stark narrative was a sharp contrast to the emotional, bucolic work that was popular in the 1870s.
Winslow Homer with “The Gulf Stream” in his studio, ca. 1900, gelatin silver print, by an unidentified photographer. Bowdoin College Museum of Art Winslow Homer began his career as a freelance illustrator for Harper's Weekly and other major publications of the day. His drawings, etchings and lithographs, especially during the Civil War, were the equivalent of [...]
The people of Prout's Neck, Maine thought of their neighbor, Winslow Homer, as a character and a curmudgeon. But 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 was in his forties when he began to create some of the most beautiful watercolor paintings the world has ever seen. Homer’s mother, Henrietta, was a talented watercolorist who painted nature studies and whose works were the only paintings by another artist he ever collected and hung in his studio in Prouts Neck, Maine.
Photograph of Winslow Homer taken in N. Y., 1880 Albumen print by Napoleon Sarony, American, 1821-1896. Gift of the Homer Family, Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Quiet, thoughtful and seclusive, Winslow Homer became one of America’s most beloved artists. Homer was able to capture the raw beauty of people, the land and, especially, the sea. [...]