Wednesday 27 April 2011

Winslow Homer - Part 1

Winslow Homer (1836 – 1910) was was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a pre-eminent figure in American art.

He was largely self-taught, and began his career working as a commercial illustrator. He subsequently took up oil painting and produced major studio works, though it’s for his skill with watercolour that he’s best known now, and the reason that I personally admire his work. I spent a decade of my own career dedicated to watercolour.

Homer was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1836, the second of the three children, all sons, of Henrietta Benson and Charles Savage Homer. His artistic education consisted chiefly of his apprenticeship to the Boston commercial lithographer John H. Bufford, and a few lessons in painting from Frédéric Rondel after that. Following his apprenticeship, Homer worked as a free-lance illustrator for such magazines as Harper's Weekly.

The Bathers 
wood engraving for Harper's Weekly

Returning to America in 1883, he settled at Prout's Neck, Maine, where he would live for the rest of his life. He continued to travel widely, to the Adirondacks, Canada, Bermuda, Florida, and the Caribbean, in all those places painting the watercolours upon which much of his later fame would be based. In 1890 he painted the first of the series of seascapes at Prout's Neck that were the most admired of his late paintings in oil. Homer died in his Prout's Neck studio in 1910.

1836 Snap the Whip 
oil on canvas

1863 Home Sweet Home 
oil on canvas

1865 the Veteran in a New Field 
oil on canvas

1870 Eagle Head, Manchester, Massachusetts

1870 The Dinner Horn 

1873 Dad's Coming 
oil on wood

1873 Gloucester Harbor 
oil on canvas

1873-76 Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)
 oil on canvas

1875 Sailing the Catboat 
watercolour and gouache

1874 The Sick Chicken

1876 Song of the Lark

1877 Camp Fire 

1877 Dressing for the Carnival 
oil on canvas

1878 The Milk Maid 

1881 Fisherwomen, Cullercoats 

1881 Perils of the Sea 

1881 Watching the Tempest 

1881-82 Sparrow Hall 
oil on canvas

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