1836 - 1910
GIRL SEATED IN A GROVE
signed Winslow Homer and dated 1880 (lower right)
watercolor and pencil on paper
9 ¾ by 13 ½ inches
(24.8 by 34.3 cm)
Grace Barrett Valentine, Darien, Connecticut, circa 1880
Susie Valentine Brown, Darien, Connecticut (by descent)
Valentine M. Brown and Manning B. Brown, Darien, Connecticut, by 1940 (by descent)
[with]William Macbeth, Inc., New York, 1940
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas N. Metcalf, Boston, Massachusetts, 1940 (acquired from the above)
Private collection, New England (by descent; sold: Christie's, New York, May 18, 2011, lot 96)
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale
Lloyd Goodrich and Abigail Booth Gerdts, Record of Works by Winslow Homer: 1877 to March 1881, vol. III, New York, 2008, no. 905, p. 302, illustrated
Winslow Homer spent the summer of 1880 living in a lighthouse on Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor and later visited the Long Island Sound, where he completed Girl Seated in a Grove. Homer had given up illustration by this time, instead devoting himself to the medium of watercolor with a focus on the depiction of light and atmosphere.
In her description of Girl Seated in a Grove and the related works produced that summer, Helen A. Cooper writes, "in these watercolors Homer grants the figure and landscape equal importance by rendering both with similar brushwork...The woman has simply become one with the setting: her muted mood and delicate color are echoed in the hazy light and tones of the landscape...the achievements of the summer of 1880 are found above all in watercolors distinguished by fluid, saturated washes, brilliant light, and reductiveness of composition. Light and color now fascinated Homer more than ever, and in sheet after sheet he experimented with washes of various intensities" (Winslow Homer Watercolors, Washington, D.C., 1986, pp. 69-70).