Green Apples by Winslow Homer
Green Apples by Winslow Homer Green Apples by Winslow Homer Green Apples by Winslow Homer Green Apples by Winslow Homer
Green Apples by Winslow Homer

Green Apples by Winslow Homer

  • This American genre painting was composed by the premier painter Winslow Homer
  • The charming work shows a young boy reaching for a ripe apple in a rural American setting
  • It captures the sense of nostalgia and hope that permeated American culture at the end of the war
  • Homer's anecdotal scenes were among the greatest of the post-Civil War era
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Item No. 30-8907
Price: Available upon request
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description
Winslow Homer
1836-1910 | American

Green Apples

Oil on canvas
Signed and dated "Homer / 66" (lower right)

Celebrated as one of America's premier painters, Winslow Homer is best known for his images of everyday American life. The present oil on canvas, entitled Green Apples, reveals his fascination with the nostalgia of rural America and his contemplation of simpler times. Children – symbols of hope, promise, and innocence – were often depicted in American art of the 19th century, but they took on an added significance, including nostalgia, following the traumatic years of the Civil War. Homer's work is a beautiful example of this ideal, offering a quiet and introspective view of a young boy reaching for a ripe, red apple.

Both Homer and the great genre painter Eastman Johnson, who had studios in the same New York building in the 1860s, produced a number of charming studies of the joys of childhood. Homer’s Green Apples is one such genre scene, painted in tones of brown and green, punctuated by a few red apples on the tree. The large expanse of grass creates a high horizon line and silhouettes the boy, who is rendered in a linear manner akin to Homer’s illustrations. Homer was still very active as an illustrator at this time and, in fact, he used this painting two years later as the basis for a wood engraving of the same name. It was part of a series of illustrations featuring children at play that Homer did in the late 1860s for a children’s magazine, Our Young Folks. Green Apples accompanies a poem of the same title by J.T. Trowbridge, appearing in the August 1868 issue of the popular publication.

Born in Boston in 1836, Winslow Homer was encouraged to paint at an early age by his mother, Henrietta. He became apprenticed to a commercial lithographer at the age of 19, which set him on the course to become an illustrator of significance during the Civil War. His early career was a time of experimentation, with many of his subjects stemming from the aftermath of the war, as well as images of rural and seaside towns on the East Coast. Though he primarily worked in oil, he also began to master the art of watercolor painting, which he turned to more and more throughout his career. His works would go on to influence a number of great American paintings, including Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. Today, his paintings can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), Musée d’Orsay (Paris), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), among others.

Dated 1866

Canvas: 15 1/4" high x 11 1/8" wide
Frame: 22" high x 18 1/2" wide

Exhibited:
Century Loan Exhibition as a Memorial to Winslow Homer, Prouts Neck Association, Maine, July - August 1936, no. 62
A Loan Exhibition of Winslow Homer for the Benefit of the New York Botanical Garden, Wildenstein & Co., New York, February - March 1947, no. 10
Winslow Homer: Illustrator, Smith College Museum of Art, Massachusetts, February 1951
Collection in Progress: Selections from the Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman Collection of American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1955, no. 14
Colección de Arte Nrote-Americano Prestada por Lawrence A Fleischman, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, 157, no. 9
American Painting, 1760-1960: a Selection of 125 Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence A. Fleischman, Milwaukee Art Museum, March - April, 1960
American Painting: Selections from the Collection of Daniel and Rita Fraad, Brooklyn Museum, New York, June - September 1964, no. 7
American Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings from the Collection of Rita and Daniel Fraad, Amon Carter Museum, Texas, May - July, 1985, no. 3

References:
Record of Works by Winslow Homer, 1846 through 1866, vol. I, New York, Spanierman Gallery, 2005, by. L. Goodrich and A. Gerdts, p. 366, no. 292 (illustrated)

Provenance:
George Norton Northrop, West Roxbury, Massachusetts, before 1936
Wildenstein & Co., 1946
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence A. Fleischman, Detroit, 1954
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York
Daniel and Rita Fraad, Scarsdale, New York, 1962-2004
thence by descent
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans, 2019
specifications
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:America
Subject:Children
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