Winslow Homer

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Homer, Winslow,

1836–1910, American landscape, marine, and genre painter. Homer was born in Boston, where he later worked as a lithographer and illustrator. In 1861 he was sent to the Civil War battlefront as correspondent for Harper's Weekly, and his magazine drawings won international acclaim. Homer also created many affecting paintings depicting life at the Union front and elsewhere during the Civil War. Many of his studies of everyday life, such as Snap the Whip (1872, Metropolitan Mus.), date from the postwar period, during which he was a popular magazine illustrator. In 1876, Homer abandoned illustration to devote himself to painting. He found his inspiration in the American scene and, eventually, in the sea, which he painted at Prouts Neck, Maine, in the summer and in Key West, Fla., or the Bahamas in the winter. After 1884 he lived the life of a recluse, leaving his home in Manhattan, and making Prouts Neck his base.

Although Homer excelled above all as a watercolorist, his oils and watercolors alike are characterized by directness, realism, objectivity, and splendid color. His powerful and dramatic interpretations of the sea in watercolor have never been surpassed and hold a unique place in American art. They are in leading museums throughout the United States. Characteristic watercolors are Breaking Storm and Maine Coast (both: Art Inst. of Chicago) and The Hurricane (Metropolitan Mus.). Characteristic oils include The Gulf Stream (1899) and Moonlight—Wood's Island Light (both: Metropolitan Mus.) and Eight Bells (1886; Addison Gall., Andover, Mass.). Homer's Prouts Neck studio was purchased (2006) by the Portland Museum of Art, restored, and opened to the public in 2012.


See biographies by P. C. Beam (1966), J. Wilmerding (1972), and M. Judge (1986); studies by L. Goodrich (1968 and 1972) and P. H. Wood (2011); B. Gelman, ed., The Wood Engravings of Winslow Homer (1969); studies of his watercolors by D. Hoopes (1969), P. C. Beam (1983), H. A. Cooper (1987), M. Unger (2001), and R. C. Griffin (2006).

Homer, Winslow


Born Feb. 24, 1836, in Boston; died Sept. 29, 1910, in Prouts Neck, Me. American painter and graphic artist.

Homer worked as a lithographer from 1854 and as a magazine illustrator from 1857 to 1874. He was a pictorial reporter during the Civil War (1861–65) and began painting in 1862. He visited France in 1866–67 and Britain in 1881–82. Homer developed his abilities as a painter on his own by studying the works of American and French realist painters. His painting Prisoners From the Front (1866, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), which combines documentary accuracy with brilliant psychological characterization of the soldiers of the two armies, is an early example of his work revealing his distinctive gifts as a realist painter. Later, Homer painted mainly pictures from the life of the common people of America: farmers, hunters, and seamen; many of his pictures are devoted to the life of the Negroes.

In portraying large figures against the background of American landscapes and through the use of rich colors, Homer emphasized the noble courage, simplicity, harmony with nature, and in-dustriousness of his heroes. He progressed from somewhat idyllic rural scenes (The Dinner Horn, 1873, Detroit Institute of Arts,) to the dramatic portrayal of man’s struggle with nature (Huntsman and Dogs, 1891, Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Gulf Stream, 1899, Metropolitan Museum of Art).


Goodrich, L. Winslow Homer. New York, 1959.
Gould, J. Winslow Homer: A Portrait. New York, 1962.

Homer, Winslow

(1836–1910) painter; born in Boston, Mass. Largely self-taught, he began his career as a lithographer and then became an illustrator for popular magazines. Harper's Weekly sent him periodically to cover the Civil War (1861–65), and the resulting drawings and paintings revealed his draftmanship, realism, and unsentimental approach to his subjects, as seen in Prisoners from the Front (1866). His early genre work, such as Snap the Whip (1872), ensured his popularity, and he spent more time on his own work. By 1875 he was using water color, his primary medium, as a method of quickly capturing a dramatic moment in nature. He traveled often, producing many fine works as a result of his journeys to such places as Bermuda, Florida, and Petersburg, Virginia. His series of paintings of African-Americans, such as the well-known The Cotton Pickers (1876), and The Carnival (1877), exhibit his superb design capabilities and a striking use of paint. After traveling to England (1881–82), he settled at Prouts Neck, Maine, in 1883 and the sea and the men and women who lived near the shore became the main focus of his art. He began a series of oils and water colors that built his reputation as a major artist. His seascapes, such as Northeaster (1895) and Early Morning after a Storm at Sea (1902), reveal the vitality and power of his genius.
References in periodicals archive ?
1 (March 1983) 54-73; David Tatham, Winslow Homer and the Pictorial Press (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003) 31, 37-39.
Winslow Homer has put his name to is his latest work, the Cotton Pickers, which provoked the admiration of the artists at the latest reception.
I got lost in the dreams of Chagall, in the summer laziness of Monet, in the waves of Winslow Homer, in the blood and passion of Orozco, in the bright, simple designs of Rivera, in the fury of Jackson Pollock, in the struggle of de Kooning in the selflessness of Vermeer, in the light and shadow of Rembrandt, in the plushness of Rubens, in the fantastic mystery of Bosch in the power of Michelangelo and Tintoretto, in the incredible sensitivity and intelligence of Leonardo da Vinci in the earthly dramas of Daumier and Millet (Later on, when I discovered African-American art, I got equally caught up in the works of Jacob Lawrence, Archibald Motley, Henry Tanner, Edward Bannister, and others.
These artists range from well-loved favorites by artists such as Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent whose work first graces the Addison's walls upon its 1931 opening, to twentieth-century treasures by Edward Hopper, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O'Keeffe, Frank Stella, and Robert Mangold, to exciting recent acquisitions of works by colonial silversmith Jacob Hurd and contemporary artists Jennifer Bartlett and Mark Bradford, to name a few.
They saw a painting by the American artist Winslow Homer of a Cullercoats fishlass and they watched a film by Mitchell and Kenyon, which was North Shields Fisheries in 1901, and were inspired by the thought that the women were strong-minded.
May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This summer, for the first time in 160 years, a Massachusetts site associated artist Winslow Homer (1836-1910) will open to the public.
Winslow Homer, a master of pause and inaction, is well represented throughout the exhibition, and rightly so.
With nearly 75 famous works of art, the gallery is a collection of artwork from great American artists including William Bradford, Mary Cassatt, Martin Johnson Heade, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Potthast, John Singer Sargent, and William Turner.
As well as North East artists, it attracted international painters such as American Winslow Homer who spent 18 months in Cullercoats from 1881.
The value of the collection, which includes master-works by Charles Willson Peale and Winslow Homer, likely is much higher.
Report USA Holy Bull Stakes G3 Gulfstream Park, 1m dirt, 3yo WINSLOW HOMER (Tony Dutrow/ Ramon Dominguez) is 20-1 for the Kentucky Derby with Coral after beating a strong-looking field in Saturday's Holy Bull Stakes, the first step on the Florida road to the Triple Crown, writes Dan Farley.
Slides, books and visuals about the art of such famous artists as Winslow Homer and Claude Monet can be introduced to demonstrate the properties of water, and things that can appear on the water.