Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer (1836-1910), a hardware merchant's son, was apprenticed to a lithographer for whom he drew "pretty girls to adorn the covers of popular songs". His work reached a wider audience through Harper's Magazine, at first happy country scenes and later Civil War drawings of soldiers far from home. He taught himself to paint in oils, believing that one artist should not look at another artist's work, and produced genre pictures of children and country life. Losing interest in this theme, he took up watercolours and moved in 1883 from New York to Maine, beginning a series of paintings of the sea and its people and then, finally, removing people altogether from what he perceived as the vastness of the ocean. He is today recognized as one of America's greatest watercolourists.