NGA Winslow Homer

The NGA Winslow Homer website was developed by the National Gallery of Art as a companion to its 2005 Winslow Homer exhibit. The site features 35 high resolution versions of Homer€™s oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings, many of them tagged with zoom buttons. The art appears in chronological order and contextualizing text and video clips take the viewer through Homer€™s career. These descriptions explain artistic style and content choices in light of significant events in the artist€™s life, contemporary events and critical reaction. Through this treatment we see how Homer€™s Civil War illustrations for Harper€™s pioneered a new style of war journalism that focused on the individual, rather than on large battle scenes. After the war, Homer continued to concentrate on figures, rather than landscapes. The site traces the influence of Homer€™s visit to the English fishing village of Cullercoats, his work in Maine, and his illustrations of the Caribbean. Toward the end of his life, Homer took on darker themes, depicting death and turbulence in a number of his paintings. The website gives a sense of Homer€™s enormous influence. His use of watercolor helped to legitimize this medium. By focusing on ordinary people, and universal themes and activities €“ like children playing, a teacher at the blackboard, and women weaving €“ Homer introduced new subjects to the art world, to critical acclaim.