Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer, 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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Winslow Homer: Selected full-text books and articles

Winslow Homer, American Artist: His World and His Work
Albert Ten Eyck Gardner.
Bramhall House, 1961
Winslow Homer: A Retrospective Exhibition
.
Museum of Fine Arts, 1959
A Measured Freedom: National Unity and Racial Containment in Winslow Homer's the Cotton Pickers, 1876
Gold, Susanna W.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 2, Spring 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Winslow HOMER THE ILLUSTRATOR: His Wood Engravings, 1857-1888
Johnson, Mark M.
Arts & Activities, Vol. 130, No. 2, October 2001
Critical Issues in American Art: A Book of Readings
Mary Ann Calo.
Westview Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "Trapper, Hunter, and Woodsman: Winslow Homer's Andirondack Figures"
American Painting of the Nineteenth Century: Realism, Idealism, and the American Experience
Barbara Novak.
Icon Editions, 1979 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "Winslow Homer: Concept and Precept"
Random Harvest
James Thomas Flexner.
Fordham University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "The Homer Show: 'Few Painters Have So Powerfully Expressed the Vastness of the World'" begins on p. 192
Winslow Homer Is an American Original
Goode, Stephen.
Insight on the News, Vol. 11, No. 42, November 6, 1995
American Artists
Royal Cortissoz.
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1923
Librarian’s tip: "Winslow Homer" begins on p. 119
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.