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Painting Nature on the Wing

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"The Sun will not rise, or set, without my notice, and thanks," wrote Winslow Homer to his brother Charles, putting into words what drove his art... All his life, the artist "noticed"—not just the rising and setting sun from his home near the ocean at Prouts Neck, Maine, but everything around him: people; scenery of his hunting and fishing trips; wildlife, which he painted with passion; objects and details others would never imagine the subject of art; and the effect, movement, and inner life of these... In Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he grew up, Homer was exposed to art and encouraged to draw at an early age... His mother, Henrietta Benson, a successful illustrator of flowers and other still life, taught him watercolor painting and foresaw his "future greatness." Hers were the only works, besides his own, found in Homer's studio after his death... He sketched from life at camp then converted sketches into engravings at his studio in New York... Documenting drab labor behind the lines and the soldiers' loneliness and alienation gained him national recognition. "Quite late this man went to Europe and studied there and found things ready to his hand, but I do not know what more he got beyond what he had already," wrote John LaFarge (1835–1910), Homer's friend and fellow artist... Homer's time in Paris, after the war, and in Cullercoats, an English fishing village and artists' colony on the North Sea, had little influence on his style. "A great man," LaFarge believed, "…has left for us what I think is the only record of absolutely American Yankee expression". "You will see, in the future I will live by my watercolors," Homer remarked when, already accomplished in the weightier world of oils, he returned to the more direct medium of his childhood... Homer's interest in watercolor painting matured at his Prouts Neck studio, a refurbished stable off the family estate... The illusion suggested by the artist's work is directed by him but mostly made by us," wrote LaFarge, suggesting that looking at a work of art is not passive for it involves the viewer's imagination... The artist's vision holds yet more ambiguity today... The sporting ducks deliver as well as receive havoc... When they escape the double-barreled shotgun and fly off, they may carry with them nature's revenge, introducing new flu virus strains right and left: to domestic animals or directly to humans, increasing risks for new pandemics... As we stare into the hunter's barrel in Homer's painting, we could be the sitting ducks.

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Winslow Homer (1836–1910). Right and Left (1909). Oil on canvas (0.718 m × 1.229 m). National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Gift of the Avalon Foundation
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Fa: Winslow Homer (1836–1910). Right and Left (1909). Oil on canvas (0.718 m × 1.229 m). National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Gift of the Avalon Foundation


Painting Nature on the Wing
Winslow Homer (1836–1910). Right and Left (1909). Oil on canvas (0.718 m × 1.229 m). National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Gift of the Avalon Foundation
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3293466&req=5

Fa: Winslow Homer (1836–1910). Right and Left (1909). Oil on canvas (0.718 m × 1.229 m). National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Gift of the Avalon Foundation

View Article: PubMed Central

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

"The Sun will not rise, or set, without my notice, and thanks," wrote Winslow Homer to his brother Charles, putting into words what drove his art... All his life, the artist "noticed"—not just the rising and setting sun from his home near the ocean at Prouts Neck, Maine, but everything around him: people; scenery of his hunting and fishing trips; wildlife, which he painted with passion; objects and details others would never imagine the subject of art; and the effect, movement, and inner life of these... In Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he grew up, Homer was exposed to art and encouraged to draw at an early age... His mother, Henrietta Benson, a successful illustrator of flowers and other still life, taught him watercolor painting and foresaw his "future greatness." Hers were the only works, besides his own, found in Homer's studio after his death... He sketched from life at camp then converted sketches into engravings at his studio in New York... Documenting drab labor behind the lines and the soldiers' loneliness and alienation gained him national recognition. "Quite late this man went to Europe and studied there and found things ready to his hand, but I do not know what more he got beyond what he had already," wrote John LaFarge (1835–1910), Homer's friend and fellow artist... Homer's time in Paris, after the war, and in Cullercoats, an English fishing village and artists' colony on the North Sea, had little influence on his style. "A great man," LaFarge believed, "…has left for us what I think is the only record of absolutely American Yankee expression". "You will see, in the future I will live by my watercolors," Homer remarked when, already accomplished in the weightier world of oils, he returned to the more direct medium of his childhood... Homer's interest in watercolor painting matured at his Prouts Neck studio, a refurbished stable off the family estate... The illusion suggested by the artist's work is directed by him but mostly made by us," wrote LaFarge, suggesting that looking at a work of art is not passive for it involves the viewer's imagination... The artist's vision holds yet more ambiguity today... The sporting ducks deliver as well as receive havoc... When they escape the double-barreled shotgun and fly off, they may carry with them nature's revenge, introducing new flu virus strains right and left: to domestic animals or directly to humans, increasing risks for new pandemics... As we stare into the hunter's barrel in Homer's painting, we could be the sitting ducks.

No MeSH data available.