Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer (1836 – 1910) is acknowledged to be one of the foremost painters of nineteenth century America. In the years from 1857 – 1875, while he was building his career as a painter, he was also a commercial illustrator for illustrated magazines – especially Harper’s Weekly. His drawings and paintings reached a wide audience through the medium of the wood engravings he designed.

During the Civil War (1861 – 1865) Harper’s sent Homer to the front lines, where he sketched battle scenes and everyday camp life of the soldiers. He also showed the effects of the war on soldiers and civilians on the home front. However, both before and after the war he focused on subjects revealing a relaxed America: popular seaside activities in Massachusetts and New Jersey, camping, hiking, fishing and hunting in the Adirondacks, Catskills, and White Mountains, children at play and women's activities, along with some darker social observations. His engravings reached their zenith in 1873 and 1874 with his “children’s series” in such works as “Gathering Berries”, “Raid on a Swallow Colony”, “Waiting for a Bite”, “See-saw – Gloucester, Massachusetts”, and “Snap the Whip”, regarded as masterpieces of Homer’s work in the engraving field.