About this artwork
In numerous watercolors, Homer explored aspects of the controversy over deer hunting practices in the Adirondack region without overtly expressing his own opinion. In North Woods Club, Adirondacks (The Interrupted Tête-à-tête), hunting is only hinted at in a subliminal way. Homer pictured two white-tailed deer, a doe and a buck, at the edge of a mountain meadow. Homer selected the exact moment when the deer become aware of another presence, the identity of whom is left to the viewer’s imagination. He juxtaposed a yellow-green flowering meadow with cool, purple-blue mountains, creating an entrancing summer vista. Yet Homer alluded to a less-benign narrative that would have been clear to his contemporaries. Two tall white pines stand silhouetted against the view, echoing the two deer. White pine had been dangerously over harvested in this period, and worry over its dwindling numbers in the Adirondacks paralleled concern for excessive hunting of deer. Homer drew the pine trees and deer carefully in pencil before adding watercolor, making sure that the distinctive characteristics of both threatened species would be clearly identifiable.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Winslow Homer
- North Woods Club, Adirondacks (The Interrupted Tete-a-Tete)
- United States
- Watercolor, with rewetting, blotting and scraping, over graphite, on thick, moderately textured, ivory wove paper
- Signed recto, lower right, in pen and brown ink: "Winslow Homer 1892/Northwoods Club N.Y." Inscribed verso, center, in graphite: "The Interrupted tete-a-tete, Adirondacks"
- 380 × 545 mm
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection