Harvest Scene, Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine), Oil on canvas, American

Harvest Scene

Artist:
Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine)
Date:
ca. 1873
Culture:
American
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
10 x 24 in. (25.4 x 61 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
George A. Hearn Fund, 1909
Accession Number:
09.26.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 767
Homer’s preoccupation with idyllic agrarian subjects and direct observation of nature recalls those of French Barbizon School artists, such as Jean-François Millet, who worked near the Fontainebleau forest beginning in the 1830s. Homer might have seen their paintings in his native Boston and during his trip to Paris in 1866–67. Characteristic of Homer’s art of this period is his use of direct, overhead light to define the middle ground. Small figures harvesting hay are merely suggested with quick dabs of paint. Calligraphic tree trunks and spreading branches form an irregular gridlike pattern against the sky.
Signature: [at lower left]: Winslow Homer
George A. Hearn, New York, by 1908