Winslow Homer: An American Artist Resource Page

A 19th-century painting master who captured the American landscape through watercolor and occasionally oil on canvas, Winslow Homer was born in 1836. He was a self-made man who taught himself to paint with no formal training. His career began when he took a job as an illustrator; he used lithographs to print photographs for various magazines. That image-making career soon led to experimentations with oil painted-images and eventually his supreme expertise in watercolor -- a medium he only embraced once he was in his mid-thirties.

Homer, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, had a signature style, distinguished primarily by his obsession with painting marine content and outdoor sporting life. His works detailed a water life brimming with exotic birds, fish, fishermen, and sailors. He not only captured the personality of water and wildlife, but his painted snapshots of human interaction with water and wildlife created an iconic and unforgettable lens into the raw, emotional experience of the sea. His tactics in highlighting nature are still much copied by modern day painters and photographers.

Before his death in 1910, Homer completed roughly six-hundred coastal-themed watercolors. Some of his works also note the dismal and disturbing landscape of the Civil War, of which he was a veteran. His paintings, most of which were inspired by his vacations to seaside areas from Florida to France, remain on display in museums across the country. They are known for being dramatic and powerful in their use of contrast.

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Locations with Winslow Homer Paintings

Books on Winslow Homer

  • Winslow Homer at Prout's Neck by Philip C. Beam, published in 1966 by Little, Brown & Co.

  • Winslow Homer by Nicolai Cikovsky, published in 1995.

  • Winslow Homer by Nicolai Cikovsky, published by Abrams in 1990.

  • Winslow Homer Watercolors by Helen Cooper, published in 1986.

  • The Life and Works of Winslow Homer by Gordon Hendricks, published in 1979 by Abrams.

  • Winslow Homer by Mary Judge, published in 1986 by Crown Publishers.

  • Winslow Homer: Paintings of the Civil War by Marc Simpson, published by The Fine Arts Museums in 1988.

  • Winslow Homer and the Illustrated Book by David Tatham, published in 1992 by Syracuse University Press.

  • Winslow Homer's Images of Blacks by Peter Wood, published by University of Texas Press in 1988.

Additional Websites about Winslow Homer