Winslow Homer (1836-1910)

  • Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
  • Autumn Trees, 1878
  • Watercolor on paper
  • 13 5/8 x 20 ¼ inches
  • Inscribed lower left: Winslow Homer 1878

PROVENANCE: Wm. A. Butters & Co., Chicago, 10 Dec. 1879; to Cornelia Lunt, Evanston, IL, probably 1879; to Anne Evans, by bequest, n.d.; to Denver Art Museum, by bequest, 1941; to M. Knoedler & Co., 1947; to unidentified auction, Meredith Galleries, 1947; to Milch Galleries, 1947; to private collection, 1956; to private collection, after 1961.

EXHIBITIONS: Century Association, New York, 11 Jan. 1879, no. 51 (as Old Oaks); American Watercolor Society 1879, no. 388 (as Oak Trees), Boston Art Club, Boston Society of Architects; Schools at the Museum of Fine Arts, Exhibition of Contemporary Art, 22 Apr—24 May 1879, no.688 (as Oak Trees); Butters, Chicago, 1879; Katonah, 1963, no. 9.

REFERENCES: “Fine Arts. Water Color Exhibition Fifth and Concluding Notice—The Corridor and Black and White Room.” New York Herald. 24 Feb. 1879.; Lloyd Goodrich et. al., Record of Works by Winslow Homer, (New York: Spanierman Gallery, 2005-2014) vol. III, no. 745, illus.

Autumn Trees is an excellent example of Homer's distinct style, which owes little to other artists or outside influences. The massive oak trees that make up the painting's central composition are rendered in rich earth tones of red and green, with hardy textures complemented by the lush expanse of field that stretches between the tree line and the viewer. Homer's treatment of paint is exacting, and the masterful blending of color and brushstroke is a testament to his years-long devotion to the medium. Homer's technique at large, characterized by careful and direct observation from nature, as well as a keen engagement with light effects and form, developed a careful approach to representation that time and time again culminated in honest depictions of his subject matter.

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Homer Winslow Autumn Trees 1878
Winslow Homer Autumn Trees, 1878