Thursday, August 25, 2011

Winslow Homer

Today we feature another portrait of Winslow Homer. For someone who was such a prolific artist, it is sure hard to find many photographs of him. As you know, Homer got his start working for Harper's Weekly. Initially he was used to create wood block carvings of Mathew Brady photographs, but later was used to sketch Civil War battles for inclusion in the newspaper. His two most famous sketches during the war were of the "Sharpshooter" and of the "Surgeon at Work in the Field", both of which are presented below.


  1. Mr. Homer is very talented but some of his figures look a little stiff (this coming from a guy that got a D in 7th grade art class and that was a gift because the teacher felt bad for me.) I'm sure he had to sketch fast in order to make the newspaper deadline. I wonder what his original sketches are worth these days or if they even survived. If they had to cut the sketches into 1 inch squares in order to be carved onto wooden blocks. Maybe the original blocks are still around in a museum somewhere?

  2. Regarding the Sharpshooter... my hunch is after pulling the trigger this poor guy would wake up on the ground with a possible black eye wondering where is canteen was.


  3. Can you imagine being wounded and carried over a broken field in one of those horse-drawn ambulances seen in the background of the second picture? It was either that or a wheelbarrow! Seriously.

  4. Did the artists visit the battle fields then go off and sketch from memory or were they sketching during the fight?


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