Shooting the Rapids, Saguenay River

Winslow Homer American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 767

Homer family tradition recalls that this painting—left unfinished in the artist’s studio after his death in 1910—was inspired by a particularly perilous excursion down the rapids of the Saguenay River in remote Quebec. The frightened passenger, seen gripping the sides of the canoe, is Homer’s older brother, Charles, who was his frequent companion on fishing trips. Of the many images of men in boats painted across his career, it seems fitting that the last one remains in a liminal state, preserving the sense of imminent danger and unknown outcomes in a fraught encounter with nature. Homer’s family considered the painting complete in its essential details and donated it to The Met in 1911.

#4373. Winslow Homer: Crosscurrents. Shooting the Rapids, Saguenay River

Shooting the Rapids, Saguenay River, Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine), Oil on canvas with chalk, American

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