Winslow Homer, born on February 24, 1836, was an American landscape painter and printmaker, best known for his marine subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters of 19th-century America and a preeminent figure in American art in general. 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.

In terms of cultural impact, Winslow Homer’s works, particularly those on marine subjects, are among the most powerful and expressive of late 19th-century American art. His mastery of sketching and watercolor lends to his oil paintings the invigorating spontaneity of direct observation from nature. Many of his works—depictions of children at play and in school, farm girls attending to their work, hunters and their prey—have become classic images of 19th-century American life. Others speak to more universal themes such as the primal relationship of man to nature. His work significantly contributed to developing an American artistic awareness during a time when European inspirations were the topic of huge discussion by critics and artists across the United States. His influence is undeniably present in the art world today. As an iconic figure in the American art movement, his works inspired generations of artists to develop their own distinct styles.