Winslow Homer

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Date Submitted: 02/10/2013 05:54 PM

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Winslow Homer was a genre style painter. His frequent travelling and the Civil War influenced his works greatly, and he flourished as an artist. Working mostly in oil paintings, he was received well by most of his peers. He worked in realism, which worked well with his genre style paintings. His use of several different mediums contributed to his success, and his mastery of oil on canvas was truly inspiring.

Born to Charles Savage Homer and Henrietta Benson Homer on February 24, 1836, Homer’s birthplace was Boston, Massachusetts. Homer moved to new places constantly throughout his life, looking for new ways to improve his art. Homer spent some time in New York designing illustrations for magazines, exploring himself as a painter. Here he found he liked to paint subjects such as women at leisure, or children playing outside. He began a ten month long stay in Paris, France, where he found that using outdoor light and flat, simple forms was a common interest between the avant-garde and himself. He also shared their interest in subjects, as well as serial imagery. He was however, very likely not influenced strongly by the French during his stay. Homer was in Virginia during the Civil War, and he returned there later in his life to portray what slave’s lives were like after they had been freed. When Homer travelled to Cullercoats, his art changed greatly. Residing in this small village near the North Sea from the spring of 1881 to November 1882, he began depicting the women their hauling fish, cleaning nets, and most notably, awaiting their husband’s return near the water’s edge. Homer moved to Prout's Neck, Maine, in the summer of 1883, where he stayed until his death on September 29, 1910. He made trips to the Adirondacks, Canada, Florida, and the Caribbean, and it was then that he created his best watercolors, most likely due to the radical changes in scenery from place to place. Homer enjoyed his life in solitary, which lead him to create dome of his most dynamic...