About this artwork
As its title implies, Sunshine and Shadow, Prout’s Neck explores a specific effect of light on the sea. This watercolor places the viewer on the rocky Maine shore among the scrub and juniper bushes, the latter rendered in fluid black strokes with an elegance of gesture comparable to Japanese calligraphy. Despite Homer’s stated antipathy to the straight horizon line, the artist’s 1894 group of reductive Prout’s Neck watercolors focuses on the horizon as a locus of beauty. Accordingly, Homer started work on Sunshine and Shadow by making a tick mark in pencil at the center of the paper. He created the effect of the sun by leaving the bare white of the paper for the brightest areas of illumination. In contrast, heavy, gray-blue clouds throw their shadows over large expanses of dark water. The artist appears to have laid down his washes quickly and fluidly. The effect is contemplative and uplifting, yet it hints at a darker side of nature.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Winslow Homer
- Sunshine and Shadow, Prout's Neck
- United States
- Watercolor, with rewetting and blotting, over graphite, on thick, rough-textured, ivory wove paper
- Signed recto, lower left, in brush and black watercolor: "Winslow Homer 1894" Inscribed verso, upper left, in graphite: "25 813"; upper left, in blue pencil: "16"; upper center, in blue pencil crossed out in graphite: "No 3"
- 385 × 546 mm
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection