Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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



Creation Date



19th century


9 7/8 in. x 13 15/16 in. (25.08 cm x 35.4 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

watercolor over graphite heightened with white on off-white wove paper

Credit Line

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Gift of Henry Hill Pierce, Jr., in memory of William John Curtis, Class of 1875


Public Domain

Accession Number

Children playing on the shore and in boats was a recurrent motif in a series of watercolors and drawings that Winslow Homer completed during his summer in Gloucester, located on the North shore of Massachusetts, in 1880. This watercolor depicts two youngsters in Gloucester Harbor, a famous port where for centuries fishermen have started and ended journeys out to sea. The little boat, becalmed along the shore, casts a mirror-like reflection into the smooth water. Members of a seafaring community, these would-be sailors seek the thrill of a stiff breeze in the open water. Determined not to be left behind, the young explorers row with determination, their sail furled, moving forward under their own power to seek out life’s adventures.

Object Description

A Gloucester Harbor subject showing two boys in a drak green dory - each with an oar and with a furled sail at the bow. The boys are seen from the back and side, the stern boy with a straw hat; the forward boy hatless. In a moderate sea with painterly water, hazy sky and with a strong reflection of the dory in the water.

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