The Water Fan
Winslow Homer
The Water Fan
Winslow Homer (American, Realism, 1836–1910): The Water Fan, 1898/99. Watercolor, with blotting and touches of scraping, over graphite, on thick, rough twill-textured, ivory wove paper; 37.4 x 53.4 cm. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Image: © The Art Institute of Chicago. (Not on display)

“... man intently searching for coral using a glass-bottomed bucket ... Like The Sponge Diver (1898/99; MFA Boston), this work originally had more visible red washes in the water, hinting at the pink coral beneath the surface.”
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Of Interest (Digital simulation of The Sponge Diver, suggesting how Homer used red and magenta brushstrokes to describe the red-purple color of a coral reef or dense aquatic plants.): http://bitly.com/14PNqGm

In terms of color and light, Homer’s later Bahamian watercolors suggest a sensuous departure from the hard realism of the marine scenes he produced at home in Prout’s Neck, Maine. But the monumentality of the figure in The Water Fan—strong, solid, and purposeful—reveals that Homer discerned the same epic sensibility in Caribbean fishermen that he respected in the men who fished the North Atlantic."
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