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Prisoners from the Front

Artist:
Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine)
Date:
1866
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
24 x 38in. (61 x 96.5cm) Framed: 36 1/2 × 50 5/8 × 4 1/2 in. (92.7 × 128.6 × 11.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Frank B. Porter, 1922
Accession Number:
22.207
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 762
The material that Homer collected as an artist-correspondent during the Civil War provided the subjects for his first oil paintings. In 1866, one year after the war ended and four years after he reputedly began to paint in oil, Homer completed this picture, a work that established his reputation. It represents an actual scene from the war in which a Union officer, Brigadier General Francis Channing Barlow (1834–1896) captured several Confederate officers on June 21, 1864. The background depicts the battlefield at Petersburg, Virginia. Infrared photography and numerous studies indicate that the painting underwent many changes in the course of completion.
Signature: [at lower right]: HOMER 1866
With Samuel Putnam Avery, New York, 1866; John Taylor Johnston, New York, 1866–76; sale, Somerville Art Gallery, New York, December 20, 1876, no. 181; Robert Lenox Kennedy, New York, 1876–died 1887; his sister, Mary Lenox Kennedy, New York, 1887–died 1917; her great-grandniece, Rachel Lenox Kennedy (Mrs. Frank B.) Porter, New York, until 1922
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