Winslow HOMER - breezing up (1673)
A contemporary critic described the painting: "It is painted in [Homer's] customary coarse and negligé style, but suggests with unmistakable force the life and motion of a breezy summer day off the coast. The fishing boat, bending to the wind, seems actually to cleave the waves. There is no truer or heartier work in the exhibition."
Another wrote, "Much has already been said in praise of the easy, elastic motion of the figures of the party in the sailboat, which is scudding along through blue water under 'a fair wind.' They sway with the rolling boat, and relax or grow rigid as the light keel rises or sinks upon the waves. Every person who has been similarly situated can recall how, involuntarily, his back stiffened or his knees bent as he felt the roll of the waves beneath him."
Today, Breezing Up is considered an iconic American painting, and among Homer's finest. The National Gallery of Art purchased the work in 1943, described by the institution's web site as "one of the best-known and most beloved artistic images of life in nineteenth-century America."
peinture, usa, huile sur toile, Washington, National Gallery of Art