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Two Boys Watching Schooners

A work made of watercolor, with graphite, on moderately thick, rough-textured, ivory wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of watercolor, with graphite, on moderately thick, rough-textured, ivory wove paper.




Winslow Homer
American, 1836-1910

About this artwork

Created in 1880 during Homer’s second visit to Gloucester, Massachusetts, Two Boys Watching Schooners shows two boys perched on an enormous rock, a vantage point from which they could keep an eye on the comings and goings of the fishing fleet. In this work, the artist juxtaposed the figures and shore (rendered in warm tones) with the cool blue tones of the harbor, sky and schooner. In this way, he emphasized the psychological isolation of those who waited on shore, hoping and watching for the safe return of those who made their living from the sea.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Winslow Homer


Two Boys Watching Schooners


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Watercolor, with graphite, on moderately thick, rough-textured, ivory wove paper


Signed recto, lower left, in graphite: "Homer/1880"; on prow of boat, in watercolor: "HOMER" Inscribed verso, center, in graphite: "M.K.W.C. 1025//Marblehead"


22.7 × 34 cm (8 15/16 × 13 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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