Winter Scene in Moonlight

Henry Farrer American

Not on view

English-born Henry Farrer was the brother of Thomas C. Farrer, the principal founder of the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art, which represented the Pre-Raphaelite movement in America. Unlike his brother, who studied drawing with John Ruskin in London, Henry was probably self-taught, beginning in the early 1860s to produce painstakingly wrought still lifes and landscapes in watercolor. He exhibited them regularly at the American Watercolor Society, which he helped to found. "Winter Scene in Moonlight," Farrer's earliest known watercolor landscape, probably represents a site in Brooklyn, where he lived most of his life. The picture's prosaic terrain and precise technique reveal the young artist's early adherence to Pre-Raphaelite ideals, while its faint primitivism betrays the earnest autodidact that he was. Because of that quality, as well as its chill nocturnal setting and subtle asymmetry of composition, the image anticipates the disturbing tenor of twentieth-century Surrealist landscapes.

Winter Scene in Moonlight, Henry Farrer (American, London 1844–1903 New York), Watercolor and gouache on white wove paper, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.