Friday, 24 February 2012

Winslow Homer and Waiting for an Answer

'Waiting for an Answer' (1872) by Winslow Homer; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

It's not that I don't like Winslow Homer, born on the 24th of February, 1836, I think I was sort of indifferent to him. He was one of the most important painters of 19th century America, best known for his maritime and landscape paintings. I know him mainly from his -what I call- 'man in a boat' paintings. I didn't know much of his other work but he also portrayed women. He did both oil paintings and watercolours. There are actually quite some paintings that I could have chosen to post here but I chose the painting 'Waiting for an answer'. I like the fact that it is clearly telling a story. I also like the colours and the play with light and shade. I was wondering whether this courtship scene stood in relation to what was happening in Homer's own life at the time. Apparently in the early 1870s, he was very much attracted to a woman called Helena de Kay, so much that this was reflected in his art. Courtship seemed to be the theme of his paintings during that time. After Helena got married in 1874, Homer lost interest in the courtship theme. He may have had other affairs but he stayed a bachelor all his life.

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me you are 100% correct in your analysis. Besides, what if our opinion were misguided? It still makes a wonderful story for contemplation.


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