Hellooooo everyone!!! I’m sorry I haven’t blogged all week. Just been immersed in the painting workshop at the New York Academy of Art and trying to gear up for my escape to Martha’s Vineyard. Right now I have about ten minutes to post something for you all and then head off to our last day of the workshop, which has gone wonderfully by the way.
I saw this Winslow Homer painting in the American Wing galleries at the Met. I’m a Homer fan anyway, but this particular painting moved me very much after I read its background and description on the wall text. Given the strained mood of our country right now it seems especially poignant and apropos. From the Met’s curators:
The Veteran in a New Field, 1865
Painted soon after Robert E. Lee’s surrender on April 9th, 1865, and President Lincoln’s assassination five days later, Homer’s canvas depicts an emblematic farmer, revealed to be a Union veteran as well by his discarded jacket and canteen at the lower right. His old-fashioned scythe evokes the Grim Reaper, recalling the war’s harvest of death and expressing grief at Lincoln’s murder. A redemptive feature is the bountiful wheat – a northern crop – which could connote the Union’s victory. Referring to death and life, Homer’s iconic composition offers a powerful meditation on America’s sacrifices and its potential for recovery
Not quite as profound, here is a picture I took of some pigeons hanging out on the ledge on the Fifth Avenue facade of the Met. Oddly, they had no opinion of the Homer or of art in general