"The art of Winslow Homer, like the man himself, is generic and indigenous. Its roots lie deep in that fundamental nationalism which is the most precious legacy his countrymen can boast, and nothing has ever diminished its initial force and veracity. From first to last the work of this discerning eye and sure, steady hand was the result of direct and wholesome response to local environment. He painted only that which he saw and with which he could claim life-long familiarity. In its early phases this art depicted with patient fidelity the homely provincialism of the day. In its final expression it rises to heights of abstract grandeur unapproached by any other American painter, yet always and everywhere it sounds the note of race and country. The achievement, during those long years of struggle and isolation, of an utterance wellnigh universal, was unattended by any sacrifice of that simple birthright which had been his chief source of strength and inspiration."
Though Christian Brinton (1870-1942) may have been an internationally noted critic, collector, and curator, I have trouble reading verbosity such as this. Would old Winslow Homer recognize himself as the subject of that article, which appeared in Scribner's Monthly magazine for January 1911?
I purposely uploaded Homer after Remington so you could see the similarity of their early work. Both worked as magazine illustrators in a particularly deliberate style. Remington was more the mechanic who included every possible detail in his drawings. Homer's appeared stiff, Both suffered as a result of the photos they used. I don't think drawing from sketches would have had the same static poses.
Winslow Homer was born in Boston on 24 February 1836 of New England Yankee parentage. His boyhood was spent across the Charles River in the college town of Cambridge. (Brinton calls it a village.) He drew incessantly and had accumulated quite a portfolio before he acquired a job at 19 with a Boston lithographer. He left to work from his own studio at the age of 21.
He arrived in New York City in 1859 to attend classes at the National Academy, working out of a small room in Nassau Street. In 1861 he got a job as artist-correspondent with Harper's Weekly and covered the Civil War with the Army of the Potomac. During this time he began to experiment with watercolors and oils, and exhibited at the National Academy in 1866.
Later that year he made his first trip to Paris, where he improved upon his artistic style. In 1875 he gave up his magazine work and concentrated solely on painting, travelled to England in 1881. In 1883 he returned to the USA and eventually settled in Prout's Neck on the coast of Maine, then made annual trips to paint his best work in the Adirondack mountains of New York, Florida and the Caribbean. He led a very solitary existence at Prout's Neck, where he departed this life in 1910 at the age of 74.
Click on images to enlarge them.
"A Voice from the Cliff." Also titled "The Lark," below.
"The Wreck," which shows members of the United States Life Saving Service in action manually hauling lifeboats and equipment to an offshore wreck.
"High Clliff -- Coast of Maine."
"The Light on the Sea."
Detail of the above painting.
"The Fox Hunt."
One of Homer's most famous paintings, "The Fog Warning," courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
"The Lookout -- 'All's Well.'" Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1896.
"On the Homosassa River, Florida, from The Century Magazine, December 1904.
"The Lighthouse, Nassau," 1899. Property of the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA.