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Winslow Homer Wall Art

Winslow Homer is regarded as the greatest American painter of the 19th century. Born in Boston and raised in rural Cambridge, he began his career as a commercial printmaker, first in Boston and then in New York, where he settled in 1859. He briefly studied oil painting in the spring of 1861. In October of the same year, he was sent to the front in Virginia as an artist-correspondent for the new illustrated journal Harper’s Weekly. Homer’s earliest Civil War paintings, dating from about 1863, are anecdotal, like his prints. As the war drew to a close, however, such canvases as The Veteran in a New Field (1865) and Prisoners from the Front (1866) reflect a more profound understanding of the war’s impact and meaning. For Homer, the late 1860s and the 1870s were a time of artistic experimentation and varied output. He resided in New York City, making his living chiefly by designing magazine illustrations and building his reputation as a painter. Still, he found his subjects in the increasingly popular seaside resorts in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and in the Adirondacks, rural New York State, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Late in 1866, motivated probably by chance to see two of his Civil War paintings at the Exposition Universelle, Homer had begun a ten-month sojourn in Paris and the French countryside. In Paris, he discovered the Realist canvases of Gustave Courbet, Jean-François Millet and the rising fascination with Japonism. While there is little likelihood of influence from members of the French avant-garde, Homer shared their subject interests, their fascination with serial imagery, and their desire to incorporate into their works outdoor light, flat and simple forms (reinforced by their appreciation of Japanese design principles), and free brushwork. Women at leisure and children at play were regular subjects for the artist in the 1870s. In addition to expanding his mastery of oil paint during that decade, Homer began to create watercolors, and their success enabled him to give up his work as a freelance illustrator by 1875. He had been in Virginia during the war, and he returned there at least once during the mid-1870s, apparently to observe and portray what had happened to the lives of former slaves during the first decade of Emancipation. In the early 1880s, Homer came increasingly to desire solitude, and his art took on a new intensity. In 1881, he traveled to England on his second and final trip abroad. After passing briefly through London, he settled in Cullercoats, a village near Tynemouth on the North Sea, remaining there from the spring of 1881 to November 1882. He became sensitive to the strenuous and courageous lives of its inhabitants, particularly the women, whom he depicted hauling and cleaning fish, mending nets, and, most poignantly, standing at the water’s edge, awaiting the return of their men. When the artist returned to New York, both he and his art were greatly changed. In the summer of 1883, Homer moved from New York to Prouts Neck, Maine, a peninsula ten miles south of Portland. Except for vacation trips to the Adirondacks, Canada, Florida, and the Caribbean, where he produced dazzling watercolors, Homer lived at Prouts Neck until his death. He enjoyed the isolation and was inspired by privacy and silence to paint the great themes of his career: the struggle of people against the sea and the relationship of fragile, transient human life to the timelessness of nature. In the ambitious works of the 1880s, men challenge the ocean’s power with their strength and cunning or respond to the ocean’s overwhelming force in scenes of a dramatic rescue. By about 1890, however, Homer left the narrative behind to concentrate on the beauty, force, and drama of the sea itself. In their dynamic compositions and richly textured passages, his late seascapes capture the look and feel (and even suggest the sound) of masses of onrushing and receding water. For Homer’s contemporaries, these were the most extravagantly admired of all his works. They remain among his most famous today, appreciated for their virtuoso brushwork, depth of feeling, and hints of modernist abstraction. The raw style of Homer’s later years was not an anomaly, but rather the distinguishing characteristic of his overall career. The artist regularly approached subjects overlooked by professional artists of his time - rural schoolchildren, hunting scenes, or the lives of recently emancipated African-Americans - with a passion to tell a story. The uncompromising Realism of his style charted a new course for American Art, distinct from the stage-like settings of his European counterparts, while also dispensing with the idealized of the landscape or slick portraits of the upper classes which had previously dominated American painting. Instead, Homer documented the lives of average Americans in a straightforward and seemingly spontaneous style. This look toward the defining qualities of American life and landscape not only captivated Homer, but also the later generations of American artists whom he inspired. The naturalism that marks Homer's long career, would provide a solid foundation for other icons of American painting, including Robert Henri, George Bellows, and later the modernist Marsden Hartley, each of whom made their own pilgrimage to the rocky shorelines of Maine. It was here that Homer and those who followed explored themes of mortality through images of the turbulent and seemingly eternal stretch of the northern Atlantic. Throughout his long career, Homer captured the changing tides of American life and livelihood. Whereas his contemporary Thomas Eakins looked to the heroic personalities of athletes, doctors, and professors, Homer sought instead to capture essential archetypes through the games of rural schoolteachers, to windswept land and seascapes, to the stout figures of fishing men and women. Themes of mortality repeatedly haunt Homer's oeuvre from his earliest Civil War paintings to his mid-career hunting series and, finally, his late ruminations on the sea. Often labeled as "heroic" and "masculine," Homer's deceptively simple compositions often presented precarious situations and served as poignant reminders of the fragility of life.

1 - 15 of 15 winslow homer wall art for sale

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Sunlight on the Coast Print by Winslow Homer

Sunlight on the Coast

Winslow Homer

$17

Sailing off Gloucester Print by Winslow Homer

Sailing off Gloucester

Winslow Homer

$17

Santiago de Cuba, Street Scene Print by Winslow Homer

Santiago de Cuba, Street Scene

Winslow Homer

$17

Fresh Eggs Print by Winslow Homer

Fresh Eggs

Winslow Homer

$17

On the Beach, Long Branch, New Jersey  1869 Print by Winslow Homer

On the Beach, Long Branch, New Jersey 1869

Winslow Homer

$17

The Country School Print by Winslow Homer

The Country School

Winslow Homer

$17

The Dinner Horn Print by Winslow Homer

The Dinner Horn

Winslow Homer

$17

Winslow Homer Print by Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer

$17

Fox Hunt Print by Winslow Homer

Fox Hunt

Winslow Homer

$17

The Bridal Path, White Mountains Print by Winslow Homer

The Bridal Path, White Mountains

Winslow Homer

$17

Snap the Whip Print by Winslow Homer

Snap the Whip

Winslow Homer

$17

Breezing Up Print by Winslow Homer

Breezing Up

Winslow Homer

$17

Dressing for the Carnival Print by Winslow Homer

Dressing for the Carnival

Winslow Homer

$17

Sunset Fires Print by Winslow Homer

Sunset Fires

Winslow Homer

$17

Canoe in the rapids Print by Winslow Homer

Canoe in the rapids

Winslow Homer

$17

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