Tynemouth Priory, England

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Winslow Homer
American, 1836-1910

Tynemouth Priory, England, 1881

Transparent watercolor, with traces of opaque watercolor, rewetting, blotting and touches of scraping, over graphite, on thick, rough-textured, cream wove paper (top and lower edges trimmed)
262 x 505 mm
Signed recto, lower right, in brush and black watercolor: "Winslow Homer/1881"
Inscribed verso, upper left, in pen and black ink: "Tinemouth Priory – (Winslow Homer England)"; inscribed recto, center, in graphite: "M.K.W.C. 1010-//Hauling the Net, Tynemouth"; upper right, in pen and black ink crossed out in graphite: "No 10"
Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1254

During his 1881-82 stay in England, Homer settled in the small fishing village of Cullercoats. He often depicted fisherfolk in the village and neighboring areas, as in Tynemouth Priory, England, in which a woman and two fishermen occupy a coble that is floating in choppy waters off the coast, and a fisherman wearing yellow gear is busy hauling in a net, presumably filled with the day's catch. A ruined castle and priory that dominate the coast near Tynemouth are visible in the righthand background; Homer would have seen this view daily from his rented studio overlooking Cullercoats Harbor. The artist's use of transparent gray wash for the ruins makes them appear ghostly and desolate in the mist. Overall, this work successfully captures a sense of ocean breezes and moist salt air.

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. 33.

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. 8; 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.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Watercolors by Winslow Homer, Martin Ryerson Collection," July–September, 1921, no cat.

The Art Institute of Chicago, "The Second International Water Color Exhibition," April 15–May 21, 1922, p. 20, cat. 205.

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. 16.

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. 93, cat. 901.

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.

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.

Sutherland, England, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, "Winslow Homer," September 20–November 5, 1988, pp. 47 and 105, cat. 23 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light," February 16-May 11, 2008, pp. 78, 79 (ill.), 80, 92, 207, 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 10: 2 (February 1916), p. 143.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1925), p. 164, no. 2398.

Theodore Bolton, “Water Colors by Homer: Critique and Catalogue,” The Fine Arts 18: 5 (April 1932), p. 50.

William H. Gerdts, “Winslow Homer in Cullercoats,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 36: 2 (Spring 1977), pp. 18 and 19, fig. 1.

Gordon Hendricks, The Life and Work of Winslow Homer (New York, 1979), pp. 155, 159, and 286, fig. CL–120.

Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., and Franklin Kelly, Winslow Homer, exh. cat. (Washington D.C.: The National Gallery of Art, 1995), p. 187.

Miles Unger, The Watercolors of Winslow Homer (New York, 2001), pp. 104 and 222 (ill.).

Tony Harrison, Winslow Homer in England, 3rd edition (Ocean Park, 2004), p. 118, fig. E129.

William Mullen, “Beneath the Color, Secrets of an Artist,” Chicago Tribune (February 29, 2008) (ill.).

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.