Artist Biography: Winslow Homer
A concise biography about Homer's life and work.

National Gallery of Art Micro Gallery
National Gallery of Art. Micro Gallery—National Gallery of Art. Online Content. Washington, D.C., 2004.

Winslow Homer
American, 1836-1910

A leading realist painter, Winslow Homer was among the most complex American artists of his generation. He possessed an uncanny ability to penetrate the psychology of his subjects and to portray dramatic confrontations between humans and nature.

Trained as a lithographer, Homer became a freelance illustrator for magazines such as Harper's Weekly. During the Civil War he visited the front as an illustrator and also documented military camp life. After the war he studied painting in New York and Paris. In the 1870s and 1880s Homer favored American rural genre scenes and worked in both oil and watercolor. He traveled widely and also painted in the Adirondacks, Canada, Bermuda, Florida, and the Caribbean.

In 1890 he began a series of Maine seascapes in oil that explore the elemental relationship between humans and the sea. These late works combine remarkable naturalism with a strong, simplified sense of design.