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Artist: Winslow Homer
[American painter, 1836-1910]

Title: Girl Carrying a Basket

Date: 1882
Medium: watercolor over graphite
Dimensions: 15 x 22 inches (37 x 55 cm)
Location: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Image size: 1871 x 1249 pixels, 454 Kbytes
Image source: Artcyclopedia
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Winslow Homer: Girl Carrying a Basket

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This is another work currently on display in the National Gallery of Art's exhibition of Winslow Homer's work, running through February 2006.

This watercolor would have been painted in the fishing village and artists' colony of Cullercoats, England, where Homer stayed for a little over a year.

Homer's paintings before this period were superb but somewhat saccharine works depicting American rural life. These works are carefully observed and demonstrate great technical skill, but they don't possess much in the way of emotion or drama. By themselves they would not have earned Homer his reputation as one of America's finest artists.

But in Cullercoats, Homer found his voice, so to speak. His work became darker and more mature. His study of the hardship and danger of life on the sea gave him the ability to infuse his work with drama and emotional depth -- elements that tended to be lacking in his paintings of rustic summer pastimes.

Homer returned and established himelf as one of the "greats" in all kinds of categories: one of the great watercolorists, one of the great sporting artists, one of the great painters of the sea, one of the great Realist painters. If you believe in measuring such things, you could make a very strong case that he was America's greatest artist.
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