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Distributed for Terra Foundation for American Art

Winslow Homer

Poet of the Sea

Waves battering the weathered rocks on a shore, young boys sailing carefree on open waters: Winslow Homer’s raw, evocative seascapes are among the most distinctive and powerful in American art. Winslow Homer: Poet of the Sea offers here a fresh exploration of Homer and his career-long preoccupation with the relationship between humans and the waters that define their world. 

This exhibition catalog organizes Homer’s sea-centered works by four periods that correspond to geographic locations: Gloucester, Massachusetts and other early East Coast seascapes; Cullercoats, England; Prout’s Neck in Maine; and notations from his trips to tropical regions such as the Bahamas and fishing retreats such as the Adirondacks in New York. Distinguished European and American scholars, in a series of incisive essays, argue that Homer’s seascapes need to be reevaluated. While acknowledging that most understand his paintings as premier examples of American realism, the contributors show that they are also distinctly modern in a way that set Homer radically apart from his contemporaries. Nowhere is this more evident than in his seascapes, where abstractions and expression battle his pictorial realism. The moving emotional undertones of his seascapes emerge in the compelling full-color reproductions featured in the catalog, as his paintings simultaneously capture the unique landscape of their geographic settings, the universality of man’s relationship to the sea, and issues of pictorial representation in general.

Published in conjunction with exhibitions at London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Musée d’Art Américain in Giverny, Winslow Homer: Poet of the Sea offers a new view of an American master.

152 pages | 100 color plates | 8 2/3 x 11

Art: American Art

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"Commendably honest . . ."

Richard Dorment | Daily Telegraph

"Dazzling watercolors."

Sunday Times

"He is revealed in this show as an unforgettable, fiercely individual master."

Jackie Wullschlager | Financial Times

"[Homer] is a master of watercolour, as can be seen from such good examples here . . . rich."

Andrew Lambirth | The Spectator

Table of Contents

Winslow Homer:  Poet of the Sea
Eric Shanes
Homer’s Wine-Dark Seas
Marc A. Simpson
Mixing Oil and Water:
The Developments of Winslow Homer’s Painting
Judith C. Walsh
The Emergence of the Seascape:  The East Coast
Sophie Lévy
The Perils of the Sea:  Cullercoats, England
Bronwyn A. E. Griffith
Mastering the Elements:  Prout’s Neck, Maine
Sophie Lévy
’Memoranda of Travel’:
The Adirondacks, Canada and the Tropics
Vanessa Lecomte
Checklist to the Exhibition
Selected Bibliography

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