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WINSLOW HOMER (1836-1910)

 
WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. WINSLOW HOMER - The Shepherdess - oil on canvas - 22 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.
The Shepherdess187922 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.(57.79 x 40.01 cm) oil on canvas
Provenance
Lawson Valentine, purchased from the artist in 1879
Elmira Houghton Valentine (Mrs. N.T.) Pulsifer, by descent from above
Natalie Pulsifer Byles and Alice Pulsifer, by descent from above
Davis & Long Company, New York
Private Collection, California, acquired from the above, 1977
Exhibition
Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY, “Winslow Homer in New York State,” 1963, no. 9, p. 8, illustrated on p. 18.
The Brooklyn Museum, New York, on long term loan from at least 1932 until 1977
Davis and Long Company, New York,
...More... 1977, “American-English Paintings, Watercolors, and Drawings,” no. 10, illustrated.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “American Paintings in Southern California Collections: From Gilbert Stuart to Georgia O’Keeffe,” 1996
...LESS...
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“…a hundred little accidental effects of sunshine and shadow that can be reproduced only in the immediate presence of Nature.” -Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer: Presence of Nature

One of the most influential and important artists, Winslow Homer was born in Boston in 1836. He is considered one of the greatest of American realists in the 19th century and although he never formerly learned or aligned with any of the major movements like the Barbizon School, his influence and recognition is widespread, and his process marked a turn away from the divinely infused works of earlier landscape artists.

Homer created this work in 1879, a time in which he focused mainly on idyllic landscapes, images of children, and young adults in oils and watercolor. During this period, he became a member of The Tile Club, a group of artists that discussed ideas and organized painting excursions. Other members included William Merritt Chase.

The Shepherdess was a theme he returned to multiple times as it allowed him to depict pastoral landscapes, grounded by young women. While beautiful, we can also sense the work and labor involved in the rural setting, the solitary figure set off by shades of green and dappled spots of reds and oranges. Much like Rembrandt and other Old Master painters, Homer imbues his subject with emotional content and personality. 

The 1870s would be a crucial time for Homer as he stepped away from illustration into new experiments in form and medium. Between 1873-1905, Homer created nearly 700 watercolors. Nearly all of his works from the Reconstruction era South are in museum collections, testament to their importance. As Home himself noted, “You will see, in the future I will live by my watercolors.”

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“When you paint, try to put down exactly what you see. Whatever else you have to offer will come out anyway.” – Winslow Homer

Top Results at Auction

"The Red Canoe" (1889), watercolor, 13.7 x 20 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, December 1, 1999 for $4,842,000 USD
“The Red Canoe” (1889), watercolor, 13.7 x 20 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, December 1, 1999 for $4,842,000 USD
"Where are the Boats" (1883), watercolor and pencil on paper, 13.5 x 19.6 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 for $4,572,500 USD
“Where are the Boats” (1883), watercolor and pencil on paper, 13.5 x 19.6 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 for $4,572,500 USD
"Fishergirls Coiling Tackle" (1881), watercolor, 14 x 19.8 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 for $4,521,000 USD
“Fishergirls Coiling Tackle” (1881), watercolor, 14 x 19.8 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 for $4,521,000 USD
"Herring Fishing" (1894), watercolor, 13.8 x 19.5 in. Sold at auction on Thursday, November 29, 2007 for $3,065,000 USD
“Herring Fishing” (1894), watercolor, 13.8 x 19.5 in. Sold at auction on Thursday, November 29, 2007 for $3,065,000 USD
"In Charge of Baby" (1881), watercolor on paper, 8.5 x 13.5 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 for $2,650,000 USD
“In Charge of Baby” (1881), watercolor on paper, 8.5 x 13.5 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, November 4, 2015 for $2,650,000 USD
"The Coral Divers" (1885), watercolor, 13 x 20.7 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, December 2, 1998 for $2,642,500 USD
“The Coral Divers” (1885), watercolor, 13 x 20.7 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, December 2, 1998 for $2,642,500 USD
"Two Girls and a Boat, Tynemouth, England" (1881), watercolor, 13.6 x 20.5 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, December 2, 1998 for $2,532,500 USD
“Two Girls and a Boat, Tynemouth, England” (1881), watercolor, 13.6 x 20.5 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, December 2, 1998 for $2,532,500 USD
"Untitled" (n.d.), watercolor on paper, 10 x 8.3 in. Sold at auction on Monday, August 31, 2015 for $2,350,000 USD
“Untitled” (n.d.), watercolor on paper, 10 x 8.3 in. Sold at auction on Monday, August 31, 2015 for $2,350,000 USD
"Portrait of a Lady" (1875), watercolor, 12 x 8 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 for $2,169,000 USD
“Portrait of a Lady” (1875), watercolor, 12 x 8 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 for $2,169,000 USD
"Spring" (1878), watercolor and pencil, 14 x 19.8 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, December 1, 2004 for $2,024,000 USD
“Spring” (1878), watercolor and pencil, 14 x 19.8 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, December 1, 2004 for $2,024,000 USD
"Diamond Shoal" (1905), watercolor, 13.9 x 21.7 in. Sold at auction on Thursday, May 25, 1995 for $1,817,500 USD
“Diamond Shoal” (1905), watercolor, 13.9 x 21.7 in. Sold at auction on Thursday, May 25, 1995 for $1,817,500 USD
"The Summer Cloud" (1881), watercolor on paper, 13.5 x 19.8 in. Sold at auction onWednesday, November 18, 2015 for $1,810,000 USD
“The Summer Cloud” (1881), watercolor on paper, 13.5 x 19.8 in. Sold at auction onWednesday, November 18, 2015 for $1,810,000 USD
"Orange Trees and Gate" (1885), watercolor and pencil on paper, 14 x 20.5 in. Sold at auction on December 1, 2011 for $1,314,500 USD
“Orange Trees and Gate” (1885), watercolor and pencil on paper, 14 x 20.5 in. Sold at auction on December 1, 2011 for $1,314,500 USD
"Boating Boys in Gloucester" (1880), watercolor and pencil, 10 x 14 in. Sold at auction on Thursday, November 29, 2007 for $1,161,000 USD
“Boating Boys in Gloucester” (1880), watercolor and pencil, 10 x 14 in. Sold at auction on Thursday, November 29, 2007 for $1,161,000 USD
"Fishing" (1878), watercolor and gouache, 8.5 x 17.8 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 for $1,128,000 USD
“Fishing” (1878), watercolor and gouache, 8.5 x 17.8 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, May 21, 2003 for $1,128,000 USD
"A Fish Story" (1875), charcoal and watercolor, 14 x 25.4 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 for $1,020,000 USD
“A Fish Story” (1875), charcoal and watercolor, 14 x 25.4 in. Sold at auction on Wednesday, May 23, 2007 for $1,020,000 USD

Paintings in Museum Collections

"Taking a Sunflower to Teacher" (1875), watercolor on paper, 7.6 x 6.1 in., Georgia Museum of Art
“Taking a Sunflower to Teacher” (1875), watercolor on paper, 7.6 x 6.1 in., Georgia Museum of Art
"Dressing for the Carnival" (1877), oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in., Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Dressing for the Carnival” (1877), oil on canvas, 20 x 30 in., Metropolitan Museum of Art
"The Watermelon Boys" (1876), oil on canvas, 24.1 x 96.8 in., Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
“The Watermelon Boys” (1876), oil on canvas, 24.1 x 96.8 in., Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"The Cotton Pickers" (1876), oil on canvas, 24 x 38 in., Los Angeles County Museum of Art
“The Cotton Pickers” (1876), oil on canvas, 24 x 38 in., Los Angeles County Museum of Art
"Spring" (1878), watercolor and pencil on paper, 11.25 x 8.75 in., Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
“Spring” (1878), watercolor and pencil on paper, 11.25 x 8.75 in., Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
"A Swell of the Ocean" (1883), watercolor over graphite, 15.25 x 17.65 in., Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
“A Swell of the Ocean” (1883), watercolor over graphite, 15.25 x 17.65 in., Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
"Fresh Air" (1878), watercolor, 20.1 x 14 in., Brooklyn Museum
“Fresh Air” (1878), watercolor, 20.1 x 14 in., Brooklyn Museum
"After the Hurricane, Bahamas" (1899), watercolor, 14.9 x 21.3 in., Art Institute of Chicago
“After the Hurricane, Bahamas” (1899), watercolor, 14.9 x 21.3 in., Art Institute of Chicago

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