Children Sitting on a Fence

A work made of various graphites, heightened with opaque white watercolor, on medium weight, slightly textured gray wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of various graphites, heightened with opaque white watercolor, on medium weight, slightly textured gray wove paper.

Date:

1874

Artist:

Winslow Homer
American, 1836-1910

About this artwork

During the years of Reconstruction (1865–1876), children and childhood were popular subjects in art and literature, representing both the nation’s hope for the future and its nostalgia for the simpler, more innocent era that preceded the great social and economic upheavals of the Civil War. Homer understood and fostered this conception of childhood; small groups of children in rural settings dominate his work of the early 1870s. The graphite study Children Sitting on a Fence, on which the watercolor Children on a Fence (1874) is based, shows how Homer used monochrome drawings to study figure relationships and to map out the primary patterns of light and shadow. Although the small figure group of children poised on the upper rail of a fence remains essentially the same between the drawing and the watercolor, the white highlights on the children’s hats and bodies in the drawing differ from the highlights Homer employed in the watercolor, suggesting that his treatment of light was sometimes improvised away from the scene. His preparatory drawings served as guides but did not prevent experimentation in the studio.

Currently Off View

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Winslow Homer

Title

Children Sitting on a Fence

Origin

United States

Date

1874

Medium

Various graphites, heightened with opaque white watercolor, on medium weight, slightly textured gray wove paper

Inscriptions

Signed recto, lower right corner, in graphite: "W.H. 74" Inscribed verso, lower left corner, in graphite: "Original drawing by Winslow Homer"

Dimensions

193 x 239 mm

Credit Line

The Charles Deering Collection

Reference Number

1927.3522

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share