18
18
Winslow Homer 1836 - 1910
BOYS ON A HILLSIDE
Estimate
300,000500,000
JUMP TO LOT
18
Winslow Homer 1836 - 1910
BOYS ON A HILLSIDE
Estimate
300,000500,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

American Art

|
New York

Winslow Homer 1836 - 1910
BOYS ON A HILLSIDE
watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper
8 3/8 by 11 3/8 inches
(21.3 by 28.9 cm)
Executed in 1879.
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Provenance

Edward W. Hooper, Boston, Massachusetts
Mary Hooper Warner (his daughter), Boston, Massachusetts, 1901
Roger Sherman Warner, Jr. (her son), Washington, D.C., 1972
Sturgis Warner (his brother), Washington, D.C., 1978
By descent to the present owner

Exhibited

Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, Exhibition of Works by Winslow Homer and John La Farge, June-August 1936
Boston, Massachusetts, Friends of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Exhibition of Paintings by Winslow Homer (1836-1910), December 1937
Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, Winslow Homer: A Retrospective Exhibition, March-May 1959, no. 83

Literature

Lloyd Goodrich and Abigail Booth Gerdts, Record of Works by Winslow Homer, New York, 2008, vol. III, no. 800, p. 227, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Boys on a Hillside is typical of the small, quiet watercolors of children Winslow Homer executed during the 1870s that embody “Americans’ hope for the future and their nostalgia for the seemingly simpler, more innocent era that preceded the great upheavals of the Civil War” (Martha Tedeschi and Kristi Dahm, Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light, New Haven, Connecticut, 2008, p. 38). During this time, the artist spent several summers living and working at Houghton Farm in Mountainville, New York, where he often hired local children to serve as his models. Homer embraced farm subjects and pairs of children to explore issues of human relationships in idyllic pastoral settings, subtly evoking the innocence of youth and the beauty of rural life.

Homer first seriously pursued painting in watercolor in Gloucester in the summer of 1873. While some artists used the medium primarily as a portable tool for plein air sketches that served as preliminary studies for oil paintings, Homer’s watercolors stand on their own as full-fledged works of art. The artist’s obvious delight in the freedom watercolor provided and the freshness of vision it could convey proved so successful that he gave up his career as a commercial illustrator and was able to live comfortably on the income generated by these works. By the time he executed the last of his nearly 700 watercolors in 1905, Homer had become, in the words of American artist Marsden Hartley, "one of the few great masters of the medium the world has known" (Albert Eugene Gallatin, American Water-Colorists, New York, 1922, p. 8).

American Art

|
New York