Welcome to the Winslow Homer Page,one of the many artists to chronicle the history
of Cullercoats through their paintings. Observed as America's greatest painter, Homer's works displayed here
for archive use, are but a fraction of his total works connected with Cullercoats. Please click on the paintings
and a pop-up will appear to give you a modern day view. Please see the panel at the foot of this page for
useful links, old maps,and more information which will give you a virtual tour of Homer's stay in Cullercoats 1881-1882.
American, 1836 - 1910.
In 1881 Winslow Homer began a series of watercolors based on life in the seaside fishing village of Cullercoats, England, where he stayed for almost two years. Unlike Homer's earlier watercolors, the Cullercoats works have a timeless quality that was earlier characteristic only of his oil paintings.
Although large steam trawlers had begun to replace smaller boats as fishing craft in Cullercoats, Homer preferred to focus on the old ways. In Mending the Nets, he conveys the idea of skills acquired through generations of families at work. Mending, along with dividing the catch and distributing the fish at market, occupied the fisherwomens' time for most of the day.
The composition suggests Homer's familiarity with classical sculpture. The overlapping figures of the women create a compact group in a relatively shallow space, recalling relief sculpture such as the Parthenon friezes that Homer may have seen at the British Museum. The neutral background silhouettes the two figures starkly, emphasizing their strong sculptural quality. In this way, Homer presents these women at their daily tasks as timeless archetypes, imbued with a sober and noble simplicity.
Returning to America in 1883, he settled at Prout's Neck, Maine, where he would live for the rest of his life. Homer died in his Prout's Neck studio on September 30, 1910. (Biography, National Gallery, Washington DC.)
Winslow Homer, 1880