Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) is widely regarded as the greatest American painter of the nineteenth-century.

Like many American artists, Winslow Homer had strong New England roots. He was born in Boston, and at the age of six moved with his family to Cambridge. In 1858 his family moved to Belmont, and the following year Homer himself left for New York where he had his studio until 1880. However, he returned frequently to see his family and to exhibit his work. Homer spent several summers (including those of 1873 and 1880) in Gloucester. In 1883 he moved back to New England, settling for his last three decades in Prout's Neck, Maine.

After a trip to Paris in 1867, Homer, over the next ten years, produced a brilliant series of works celebrating old-fashioned rural values in a nation undergoing rapid change and urbanization. His subjects included children at play, young women seen working or at leisure and farmers seen working at the fields. Homer's women were portrayed during summer vacations (riding horseback, playing croquet, or enjoy the shore) or at work gathering eggs, picking cotton, or teaching at school, while his rural boys and girls relax in the sunshine, practice courtship, or sail their boats. Whereagain the men are portrayed at their hard works on the fields.

Without question, Homer's late works are heroic and thought provoking, they portray both the beauty and the awesome power of nature, additionally they deal with the great questions of human meaning and mortality.

As one of our greatest artists, Homer and his life are justifiably the subject of a voluminous body of working. The Reaper transitions in his artistic development at that time. However familiar and appealing such a work seems to me, it delights and informs with each new look I bring to it

The American printer Winslow Homer painted the watercolour The Reaper in the 1870s. The medium of watercolour facilittated Homer's desire to achieve a naturalistic effect. One of the most important themes in his work was rural America.

Homer began the oil study by including the background, which he then painted out, possibly to keep some spaciousness in this format.In the background of The Reaper Homer Winslow tries to show the large-scale fields in the United States, that mainly characteristizes the rural America. All kinds of fields straggling in all cardinal point. Reaping the fields was a typical work for the farmers. So in the foreground you can see a farmer who is reaping his field on a warm June day. The sky has some blue clouds but on the hole he is white that shows that the farmer has to work on in the afternoon. The sun reaches her highest point and in the background you can recognize mirages. The farmer is wearing a straw hat, white shirt and blue jeans. Homer Winslow tries to paint a typical farmer at his work.

The colours that he uses are blue to describe the sky and earth colours as brown, green and yellow.

All together Homer's visual theme is that of interdependence and interconnections, held and broken, among human beings.Painted just as the artist was moving from his own youth into middle age, this, and a number of related images from the mid-1870's, suggested he increasingly had in mind his own sense of relatedness and separateness within family and society.

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