Homer and the Pigeons

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 😆

5 thoughts on “Homer and the Pigeons

  1. I’m not surprised the pigeons had no opinion on the Homer painting. Pigeons tend to prefer sculpture.

  2. derek says:

    I must admit you must know your history of the arts and the history of, You are one reckon to your knowledge as a historian.
    I also love the still life paintings. I saw this bloke who died over a decade ago name Bob Ross on youtube. I admire his laid back styles. I have done something like that, I hope you are enjoying your vacation. I can also recommend you for a future vacation like Spain or even London. Have a great one luv.

    • artmodel says:


      You are right about my love of history. I studied it in both undergraduate and grad school. That’s probably why this Winslow Homer painting affected me so much. It combines the beauty of Homer’s painting style with a chapter of American history.

      I remember Bob Ross! His show aired on public television when I was growing up. He seemed like such a nice man.

      It’s great to hear from you Derek. I hope you’re feeling well and enjoying life 🙂


      • derek says:

        Thank you luv
        I am doing fine , how is your mum?
        I hope she is OK and I assume she is still paints or illustrates I bet. Give me her regards from me and a great time off you do need a rest .

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