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Winslow Homer : “The Herring Net” (1885)

Archival Inkjet on Matte Finish Fine Art Paper

The Ibis’s giclée process uses archival pigment inks on 100% cotton rag paper to achieve crisp detail and rich, lasting color. Unlike posters, they will not yellow with time, but will maintain their original quality for as long as you own them. If you are unhappy with your print for any reason, you are welcome to return it for a full refund.

In 1883, Winslow Homer moved to the coastal peninsula of Prouts Neck, Maine. Living as a “Yankee Robinson Cruesoe, cloistered on his art island,” he painted monumental sea scenes evocative of humankind’s struggle with nature as both the source and taker of life. Isolated on a small dory, the subjects of The Herring Net haul in their catch, the sails of their mother schooners barely visible on the horizon. Writing in 1919, art historian John Charles Van Dyke praised the artist’s use of color:

“Herring, as they come out of the water, are brilliant in iridescent hues, and no doubt that in itself appealed to Homer and was the reason for the picture’s existence. The color at once became the illustrative motive — became the picture. There is no feeling now of color as an afterthought or as playing second part to the men or the sea. The eye goes to the glittering herring at once. You comprehend at a glance that this is a color scheme per se, and that the gray men and the gray sea are only a ground upon which the iridescent hues appear. Whether Homer realized how beautiful the color was, whether he had any emotional feeling about it, or saw any fine pictorial beauty in it, who shall say? In life he was disposed to deny such things. He said to John W. Beatty: ‘When I have selected a thing carefully, I paint it exactly as it appears.’ Was this his procedure with the ‘Herring Net’? Was it merely a color report of what he had seen? If so, he never saw anything so beautiful again. It is his high-water mark as a colorist.”

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