Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beauty From War

American artist Winslow Homer noted for his landscapes and Civil War scenes was born February 24th 1836.

Winslow Homer was born in Boston, Massachusetts February 24th 1836, the son of Charles Savage and Henrietta [Benson] Homer. He learned watercolor from his mother and was a self taught artist who didn’t get an education in art. Homer began his career in art as an apprentice to a commercial lithographer. In the 1850’s he began working for Harper’s Weekly, creating line art from photographs. Most of these works were published without creditting Homer. As time went by Homer’s reputation expanded, and he stopped working from photos and began creating his own illustrations, such as when he attended Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration.

Harper’s Weekly sent him to front lines of the Civil War. As the Civil War continued Homer’s style grew. He began to draw in a more artistic way with less attention to details. Homer drew scenes of battle and camp life. One of his more famous works was of Union Major General George B McClellan on the banks of the Potomac River in 1861. Following the war he began his career as a painter. Several of his painting are based on drawings Homer made during the war, including “the Sharpshooter” and the “Prisoners from the Front”.

In the 1880’s he moved to Prout’s Neck Maine. Here he painted scenes of the coast. Homer died September 29th 1910, he is buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge Massachusetts.

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