Arts Everyday Living: Autumn is Coming Soon! A Walk Through the Woods with Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer, Autumn, 1877, oil on canvas, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Title: Autumn

Artist: Winslow Homer (1836-1910)

Autumn is almost here, expected on September 23.  A season New Englander Winslow Homer often depicted throughout his artistic career, whether in the countryside or in the mountains.  In the painting above, though,  Homer focuses not on landscape, but a fashionable young woman, dressed in attire more suitable for an urban setting.

Will she be able to navigate the uneven terrain while holding onto her long, Victorian-era skirt with its fancy petticoat peeking out beneath? Note too the immaculate white gloves, the petite purse draped over her arm, along with the form fitting jacket and plumed hat.

Look closely too at the expression on the model’s face as she poses for Homer. Does she appear happy to be trekking through the woods, bearing an arrangement of maple shaped leaves?  Or is she questioning why the artist has transported her to this faraway location? Then again is it difficult to interpret her reaction? Yet, the haunting beauty of the brilliantly colored trees behind her prevails, reminding us that another fall is arriving soon.





In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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