About This Artwork

Winslow Homer
American, 1836-1910

The End of the Day, Adirondacks, 1890

Transparent watercolor, with traces of opaque watercolor, rewetting, blotting, and scraping, over traces of graphite, on moderately thick, rough-textured, ivory wove paper
354 x 508 mm
Signed recto, lower left corner, in blue watercolor: "Homer '90"
Inscribed verso, center, in graphite: "M.K.W.C. 1014-//The End of the Day, Adirondacks"

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1238

The End of the Day, Adirondacks captures a fisherman’s introspective moment. Homer rendered the light from the setting sun with pale pink and orange washes, seen in the sky and reflected in the water. Foliage in the background and at the right side of the image is depicted abstractly, adding to the scene’s hazy atmosphere. This area shows signs of overwork, where Homer repeatedly removed and added color as he sought to soften the contours of the landscape, as if enveloped in the mist of evening. Characteristic of the artist’s working methods, he did not try to obscure the passage and chose to let it stand.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

New York, The Museum of the Brooklyn Institute, "Water Colors by Winslow Homer," October 16–November 7, 1915, p. 8, cat. 37.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Twenty Water Colors by Winslow Homer, Martin Ryerson Collection," January 5–June 16, 1916, no cat.

Pittsburgh, Pa., Carnegie Institute, "Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent: An Exhibition of Water Colors," November 1–27, 1917, cat. 13; also traveled to the Cleveland Museum of Art, November 30–December 31, 1917; the Toledo Museum of Art, January 1918; the Detroit Museum of Art, February 2–28, 1918; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, March 1918; the Milwaukee Art Institute, April 1918; the City Art Museum of St. Louis, May 5–26, 1918; and the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, New York, June 6–July 7, 1918.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Watercolors by Winslow Homer Lent by Martin A. Ryerson," October 1–26, 1920, no cat.

Muskegon, Mich., Hackley Art Gallery, "Watercolors and Drawings by Winslow Homer, Lent by Martin Ryerson," May 9–June 20, 1921, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "The Second International Water Color Exhibition," April 15–May 21, 1922, p. 20, cat. 199.

Omaha Society of Fine Arts, December 26, 1924–February 3, 1925, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Watercolors by Winslow Homer from the Collection of Martin A. Ryerson," April 1926, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Watercolors by Winslow Homer from the Collection of Martin A. Ryerson," July–Fall, 1926, no cat.

The Buffalo Fine Art Academy, Albright Art Gallery, "An Important Group of Paintings in Oil and Water Color by Winslow Homer: Loaned by The Art Institute of Chicago," December 15, 1929–January 6, 1930, cat. 18.

Providence, Rhode Island School of Design, "Exhibition of Water Colors by Winslow Homer," February 6–March 1, 1931, no cat.

City Art Museum of St. Louis, "Water Colors by Winslow Homer Lent by the Art Institute of Chicago," December 15, 1932–January 15, 1933, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "A Century of Progress," June 1–November 1, 1933, p. 92, cat. 894.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "A Century of Progress," June 1–November 1, 1934, p. 68, cat. 473.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Homer Centenary," July 16–August 16, 1936, no cat.

Indianapolis, Ind., John Herron Art Institute, "Watercolors by Winslow Homer Lent by the Art Institute of Chicago," November 1–December 15, 1936, no cat.

Pittsburgh, Pa., Carnegie Institute, "Centenary Exhibition of Works by Winslow Homer," January 28–March 7, 1937, p. 28, cat. 126.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Twenty-Two Watercolors by Winslow Homer," April 13–May 14, 1944 (Gallery G59), no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Water Colors and Drawings by Winslow Homer," October 14–December 4, 1944 (Gallery 13), no cat.

New York, Century Association, "Paintings by Thomas Eakins, 1844–1916, and Watercolors by Winslow Homer, 1836–1910," January 10–February 18, 1951, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light," February 16-May 11, 2008, pp. 145, 156, 157 (ill.), cat. by Martha Tedeschi and Kristi Dahm.

Publication History

“Knoedler Firm Buys 21 Winslow Homers,” New York Herald (November 19, 1915).

“Notes,” Bulletin of The Art Institute of Chicago X: 2 (February 1916), p. 143.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1925), p. 164, no. 2382.

Theodore Bolton, “Water Colors by Homer: Critique and Catalogue,” The Fine Arts 18: 5 (April 1932), p. 52.

Gordon Hendricks, The Life and Work of Winslow Homer (New York, 1979), p. 285, fig. CL–100.

David Tatham, Winslow Homer in the Adirondacks (Syracuse, 1996), p. 140.

Ownership History

The artist to his brother, Charles S. Homer, Jr. (1834–1917), New York, by 1910 [according to correspondence from Abigail Booth Gerdts to the Art Institute, February 10, 2007]. Charles W. Gould (1849–1931), New York, by 1915 [Brooklyn exh. cat. 1915]. Sold by Knoedler and Company, New York, to Martin A. Ryerson (1856–1932), Chicago, November 11, 1915 [invoice]; given to the Art Institute, 1933.




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