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Image of Eight Bells

Winslow Homer , (Feb 24, 1836–Sep 29, 1910)

Eight Bells

1886
25 3/16 in. x 30 3/16 in. (63.98 cm x 76.68 cm)

Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of anonymous donor
Accession Number: 1930.379
Current Location: Loan

Commentary

Winslow Homer’s iconic painting, Eight Bells (1886), captures two oilskin-clad sailors as they stand on ship deck to take their bearing at storm’s end, their sou’wester hats glistening in the breaking sun as if these resolute men have been anointed after successful battle with tempestuous nature. It is the last of a series of majestic marine paintings made by Homer in the 1880s that focused on the relationship between man and sea. This painting, one of the most famous of the Addison’s founding collection, has resonated in the minds and hearts of countless visitors and alumni since the museum’s opening in 1931.

Susan Faxon
Associate Director and Curator


__________

Winslow Homer’s iconic painting, Eight Bells (1886), captures two oilskin-clad sailors
as they stand on ship deck to take their bearing at storm’s end, their sou’wester hats
glistening in the breaking sun as if these resolute men have been anointed after
successful battle with tempestuous nature. It is the last of a series of majestic marine
paintings made by Homer in the 1880s that focused on the relationship between man
and sea. This painting, one of the most famous of the Addison’s founding collection,
has resonated in the minds and hearts of countless visitors and alumni since the
museum’s opening in 1931perhaps because Homer’s dramatically cropped composition
invites viewers to join the calm and confident sailors on the ships deck as they take
their measure of victory over the roiling sea.

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