Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Winslow Homer (Boston, Massachusetts, 2/24/1836 - 9/29/1910, Prout's Neck, Maine)


Man with Scythe

Creation Date



late 19th century


10 in. x 12 1/2 in. (25.4 cm. x 31.75 cm.)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

graphite and charcoal on paper

Credit Line

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Gift of Shorey M. Armstrong


Public Domain

Accession Number

The aftermath of the American Civil War was a period of mourning and renewal mixed with uncertainty. As a wartime illustrator for Harper’s Weekly, Winslow Homer had been an eyewitness of the ordeal. Among his most moving motifs of the postwar era was the figure of the reaper wielding a scythe. The paradoxical interpretation of that figure as signifying mortality and abundance, death and life, would have been understood by many audiences. A celebrated painter, Homer was also one of the most accomplished draughtsmen of his age. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art takes pride in serving as the custodian of the Winslow Homer Archival Collection.

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