Winslow Homer

(1836-1910)

Winslow Homer was a largely self-taught artist who studied briefly with Fredrick Rondel in 1861 and took several night courses and the Nation Academy of Design. Homer grew up in Cambridge MA and at the age of 19 became an apprentice to a lithographer in Boston. In 1857 Homer began his career as an illustrator and by 1859 had already worked for Harper's Weekly. The magazine sent Homer to the front lines to document the Civil War. In 1861, Homer took up painting with a focus on watercolors. He exhibited the painting "Prisoners from the Front" (1866) in the 1866 Universal Exposition in Paris. This painting showed three dejected Confederate soldiers being interrogated by a Union officer. Homer was best known for his marine paintings in oil and watercolor which portrayed men and women in constant struggle with the sea in deep emotional color and atmosphere. Homer's mature watercolors achieved creative genius and fame through the brilliant design of vibrant space and color.