Arts Everyday Living: Through the Eyes of Winslow Homer–Do You Understand These Works?

Winslow Homer Girls on a Cliff, 1881, watercolor over pencil on paper, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts


Winslow Homer (1836-1910) dedicated his art and his life to recreating the natural world around him, particularly the sea and humanity’s relationship to it.  During 1881-1882, Homer spent invaluable time in Cullercoats along the ocean in northeastern England.  Often central to his works were the local fisherwomen, who labored daily to help their families.

Both works raise some questions.  For instance, what does the one girl have in her lap in the watercolor above?  And why is the woman below holding the basket before her face?


Winslow Homer, A Fresh Breeze, c. 1881, Transparent and opaque water color over graphite pencil on paper, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

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