|About the Book|
This engaging book and the exhibition that it accompanies are the first to look closely at Winslow Homers avid pursuit of fly-fishing and at the inspiration that the sport provided for his art.It was fishing that led the eminent painter to three of the locales with which we now associate his name: the Adirondacks in northern New York State, Florida, and Quebec. Each of these distinctive regions elicited unique and strong reactions from the painter, which took form in works that are brilliant studies of light, atmosphere, and the spirit of place. At his favorite fishing spots, Homer worked in the travelers medium of watercolor, stretching it ever more boldly and unconventionally in order to convey the intensity of his experience of nature- his response to light and atmosphere peculiar to a given region, a specific season, and a particular time of day- and his feeling for the physical and psychological demands of his favorite sport.Homers fly-fishing paintings are an immensely varied and little-understood aspect of his art. They serve as a counterpoint to all his other work, especially in the decades of the 1880s and beyond when fly-fishing represented a regular and sustained activity for the artist. Homers fishing watercolors suggested to him new subject matter, inspiring or at least intensifying, for example, his interest in commercial fishing and in the lives of the men and women who live by the sea. And his fishing expeditions offered recreation, rejuvenation, solace, and camaraderie, which spurred his imagination. The intense visual experience of fly-fishing afforded Homer a close involvement with natures mysterious details, revealing new worlds of color, form, and dynamism. He also found through fishing new outlets for his work, new patrons, and an audience of Victorian-era sportsmen who could read and comprehend his pictures. 110 illustrations, 80 in color.