The Bather

Winslow Homer American

Not on view

During his second visit to the Bahamas in 1898–99, Homer, then sixty-two years old, seems to have reveled in depicting the bodies of vigorous Black men glistening in warm water and sunlight. It is significant that Homer foregrounded these individuals’ strength and sensuality in his art, especially in the context of the Bahamas, which were promoted as a respite for sickly White tourists to regain their health. Inherent in the images is a tension related to racial politics and class disparities, as the older White artist recorded the robust young Black men. This apparent moment of leisure is situated beneath the Union Jack, an intentional reminder of the Bahamas’ position as a British Crown colony.

The Bather, Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine), Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper, American

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