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Moonlight, Wood Island Light

Artist:
Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine)
Date:
1894
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
30 3/4 x 40 1/4 in. (78.1 x 102.2 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of George A. Hearn, in memory of Arthur Hoppock Hearn, 1911
Accession Number:
11.116.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 767
Homer’s first biographer, William Howe Downes, recounted that the artist was sitting outside his studio one summer evening in 1894 when he exclaimed, “‘I’ve got an idea!’. . . He almost ran into the studio, seized his painting outfit, emerged from the house, and clambered down over the rocks towards the shore.” This picture “was the result of that impulse and four or five hours’ work. . . . It was painted wholly in and by the light of the moon, and never again retouched.” The spot of red pigment on the horizon denotes the lighthouse on Wood Island, to the south of Prouts Neck, Maine.
Signature: [at lower left]: W H 1894

Inscription: [on original stretcher, now replaced]: Wood Island Light, Winslow Homer
with Gustav Reichard and Company, New York, until 1895; Thomas B. Clarke, New York, 1895–1899; sale, American Art Galleries, New York, 17 Feb. 1899, no. 350; with Boussod, Valadon and Company, New York, 1899; George A. Hearn, New York, by 1907
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