On the Maine coast, a “nor’easter” is a storm of exceptional violence and duration. When Homer first showed this canvas in 1895, it included two men in foul-weather gear crouching on the rocks below a smaller column of spray. Even though the painting was well received and purchased by a leading collector of American art—George Hearn, who later donated it to the Metropolitan Museum—Homer reworked it to powerful effect, taking the two men out.
This landscape verges on abstraction, as the stylized treatment of the waves and foam patterns to the center balance the explosion of water to the left.
Title: Northeaster Artist: Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine) Date: 1895; reworked by 1901 Culture: American Medium: Oil on canvas Original Dimensions: 34 1/2 x 50 in. (87.6 x 127 cm)
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