Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., is senior curator emeritus, American and British Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. He has written numerous books, articles, and exhibition catalogues on Winslow Homer.
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From the beautiful mountains and streams of Canada and the Adirondacks to the sandy beaches of New England, from the picturesque coasts of English villages to the sunny shores of the Bahamas, Winslow Homer captured in his paintings the true magnificence of nature. For more than thirty years between 1873 and 1905, Winslow Homer turned to watercolors during his working vacations, concentrating on capturing the spirit of each place he visited with both spontaneity and intensity. Many of Homer’s most beautiful paintings focus on the interaction between humans and nature—a hunter carrying a deer on his shoulders, a man fishing from a small canoe, a girl lounging and reading in the grass, a young man driving cattle, a fisherman’s family anxiously watching for his return. It is Homer’s understanding of this important relationship between humans and nature that makes his paintings so intriguing. Winslow Homer Watercolors reproduces the best of these paintings. Large color plates allow these reproductions to be appreciated almost as much as the originals. Accompanying the more than 100 color plates is an eloquent introduction and detailed chronology of Homer’s life and artistic development. This stunning volume allows one to experience nature through the eyes of one of America’s greatest painters. It is a vision of nature from a century ago that is still appreciated today.