Saturday, February 24, 2018
Winslow Homer. Born on this day in 1836
Today is the birthday of Winslow Homer, (1836-1910) a prolific and multitalented 19th century American painter. Born in Boston and raised in Cambridge which was rural at the time, he trained as an illustrator, a career that spanned 20 years.
By 1857, his freelance career was underway after he turned down an offer to join the staff of Harper's Weekly. "From the time I took my nose off that lithographic stone", Homer later stated, "I have had no master, and never shall have any."
During the Civil War, Harper's sent him
to the front lines of the war. There he sketched battle fields, generals and privates alike, work that was dangerous and exhausting. After the Civil War, his paintings were a nostalgic look at rural America. In 1873, he began using watercolor extensively, making him the foremost watercolor artist of the 19th century.
Later on in the 1870's, he became more reclusive, moving to Maine, later traveling to England but returning to the United States. Although he received critical praise, his work never was as popular as John Singer Sargent or more the more traditional Salon paintings. He died in 1910, at the age of 74.