About this artwork
Flamborough Head, England shows Maggie Storey, one of Homer’s favorite models, standing resolutely upon the high chalk cliffs of Flamborough. Bearing the burden of a large basket and with her hands firmly on her hips, she is every bit the strong fisherwoman, the artist’s most frequent subject during his English sojourn of 1881-82. Homer positions the viewer slightly below Storey, giving her an even nobler, more monumental presence. The greater solidity and refinement of Homer’s figure drawing style was due at least in part to his study of Old Master drawings at the British Museum.
This drawing demonstrates a shift in the way that Homer used opaque white watercolor. No longer reserving it for discrete highlights, he adopted the English practice of diluting opaque white watercolor to portray mist, clouds, and the “effects of distance and atmosphere” (Cohn 1977, p. 51). The artist applied this media in broad, expressive strokes, ending them in curves to indicate wispy clouds and varying the opacity to suggest different densities. He employed a dilute wash in the lower portion of the sky, dragging the side of his brush to create a hard edge that defined the horizon.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Winslow Homer
- Flamborough Head, England
- United States
- Graphite and opaque white watercolor on medium thick, slightly textured, tan laid paper with red and blue fibers
- Signed recto, lower left, in graphite: "Winslow Homer 1882/Flamborough Head 1882"
- 452 x 609 mm
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection