Monday, September 05, 2005

Winslow Homer

I went to see the Winslow Homer exhibit at the National Gallery. Homer is a truly American artist, not just in his subject matter, but in his whole attitude.

Homer painted ordinary people going about their daily tasks in a way that endowed them with dignity. His respect for workers comes through in every painting. Particularly striking was the juxtaposition of Autumn with The Blackboard. It is quite obvious which lady he preferred.

So far as I know, Homer was the only white artist of the nineteenth century capable of painting Afican Americans without indulging in hideous sterotypes. The faces on these children are natural. You can almost imagine the plight of enslaved children running towards the Union Army and offering to do any little task that might earn a few coins.

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