Winslow Homer Biography | Oil Paintings
2-24-1836 Boston, USA – 9-29-1910 Prouts Neck, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Winslow Homer born in Boston, Massachusetts, Winslow Homer served his apprenticeship there as a lithographer but was largely self-taught. Although he attended classes at the National Academy of Design and studied briefly with Frédéric Rondel, who taught him the basics of painting, it only took him about a year of self-training before he was producing excellent oil paintings.
Following the outbreak of the American Civil War, Winslow Homer accompanied the Union forces and contributed sketches from the battlefront to Harper’s Weekly as well as executing his earliest full-scale paintings, Home Sweet Home and Prisoners from the Front.
As a result of disappointments with women or from some other emotional turmoil, Winslow Homer became reclusive in the late 1870s, no longer enjoying urban social life and living instead in Gloucester, Massachusetts. For a while, he even lived in secluded Eastern Point Lighthouse with the lighthouse keeper's family.
Winslow Homer Painting Iconic Landscapes and Seascapes.
He spent two years from 1881 to 1883 in England, mainly at Tynemouth, painting nautical subjects, living in a fishing village, led to a permanent change in his subject matter. Following his return to the USA, he continued to paint the sea, apart from occasional genre subjects such as The Fox Hunt. Homer painted striking seascapes illustrating the lives of Atlantic fishermen. His anti-academic stance and free, unconventional style made him one of America's most brilliant masters. This style of genre painting also developed around the middle of the century, with George Bingham and Homer, it took reality as a starting point, but transformed it into an idealized, Romantic vision, with a strong dose of American pride.
During the last two decades of his life, he lived at Prouts Neck on the coast of Maine, where he concentrated on watercolors of fishermen in the eternal struggle against the elements. Occasional forays to Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda provided more exotic material but invariably with a maritime theme, many of these paintings have become iconic.
By 1900, Winslow Homer finally reached financial stability, as his paintings fetched good prices from museums and galleries. Homer never taught in a school or privately, as did Thomas Eakins, but his works strongly influenced succeeding generations of American painters for their direct and energetic interpretation of man's stoic relationship to an often neutral and sometimes harsh wilderness. Winslow Homer became a dominant influence on the American realist style of painting and an influence on the world's artist.
Art Movement History: Realism, American School.
Artists Influencing Winslow Homer: John Frederick Kensett, Fritz Hugh Lane, Frédéric Rondel.
He Traveled To England, Bahamas, Bermuda, France, Cuba.
Painters Winslow Homer Influenced: Howard Pyle, Andrew Wyeth.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.