Eagle Head, Manchester, Massachusetts (High Tide)

Artist: Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine)

Date: 1870

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 26 x 38 in. (66 x 96.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. William F. Milton, 1923

Accession Number: 23.77.2


Following his experience as an illustrator during the Civil War, Homer turned his attention to lighter scenes of contemporary life, often focusing on fashionable young women. This painting of three bathers on a Massachusetts beach was his most daring subject to date. Critics were less disturbed by its disquieting mood than by the fact that, as one observed, the figures were “exceedingly red-legged and ungainly.” As in much of Homer’s art, an air of mystery and melancholy imbues the scene, suggesting deeper meanings below the surface.