The Gulf Stream (1899) by Winslow Homer

The Gulf Stream - Winslow Homer - 1906

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Gulf Stream
ArtistWinslow Homer
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions71.5 x 124 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, US

About The Gulf Stream

“The Gulf Stream” is an oil on canvas painting by the artist Winslow Homer, completed in the year 1906. The artwork, which is an exemplar of the Realism art movement, measures 71.5 x 124 cm. As a marina genre painting, it is part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art located in New York City, NY, US.

The artwork depicts a tumultuous maritime scene with a lone, African American figure in a small dismasted skiff surrounded by threatening sea life, specifically sharks, and a distant waterspout. The sea is painted with deep blues and greens, capturing the dynamic movement of the water, reflective of the perilous circumstances. The muscular tension and composed demeanor of the figure suggest resilience in the face of danger. The horizon is dominated by a large cumulus cloud formation, and to the right, a distant ship can be seen under the stormy skies, offering a faint suggestion of hope or rescue.

The rough sea and sharks closing in on the boat create a palpable sense of danger and foreboding. Contrasting with the tempestuous environment, the central figure’s calm and reflective posture exudes a sense of stoic acceptance or resolve. The artwork captures the immense power of nature, as well as themes of survival and human vulnerability.

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