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Winslow Homer (February 24, 1836 – September 29, 1910); American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th-century America and a pre-eminent figure in American art.
Largely self-taught, Homer began his career working as a commercial illustrator. He subsequently took up oil painting and produced major studio works characterized by the weight and density he exploited from the medium. He also worked extensively in watercolor, creating a fluid and prolific oeuvre, primarily chronicling his working vacations.
Homer never taught in a school or privately, as did Thomas Eakins, but his works strongly influenced succeeding generations of American painters for their direct and energetic interpretation of man's stoic relationship to an often neutral and sometimes harsh wilderness. Robert Henri called Homer's work an "integrity of nature."
American illustrator and teacher Howard Pyle revered Homer and encouraged his students to study him. His student and fellow illustrator, N. C. Wyeth (and through him Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth), shared the influence and appreciation, even following Homer to Maine for inspiration. The elder Wyeth's respect for his antecedent was "intense and absolute," and can be observed in his early work Mowing (1907). Perhaps Homer's austere individualism is best captured in his admonition to artists: "Look at nature, work independently, and solve your own problems."