© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Winslow Homer, American (Boston, MA 1836 - 1910 Prouts Neck, ME)
Returning Fishing Boats
Other Titles
Former Title: Sailing Home at Sunset, Tynemouth
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
Watercolor and white gouache over graphite on off-white wove paper
40.9 x 63.3 cm (16 1/8 x 24 15/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: watercolor, l.l.: Winslow Homer 1883
  • inscription: nothing on verso
Horace D. Chapin, Boston, before 1911; private collector, c. 1936.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous Gift
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer, "An American Artist in England", The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (November 1883), vol. 27 (n.s. vol. 5), pp. 13-21, p. 18

Mariana Griswold van Rensselaer, Six Portraits, Houghton Mifflin Company (New York, NY, 1889), p. 255

William Howe Downes, The Life and Works of Winslow Homer, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, MA and New York, NY, 1911), pp. 99-108, reproduced in b/w facing p. 104

Copley Society, Copley Society Catalogue of Paintings in Water Color by Winslow Homer, John S. Sargent, Dodge MacKnight, exh. cat. (Boston, MA, 1921), cat.44

Theodore Bolton, "Water Colors by Homer: Critique and Catalogue", Fine Arts (formerly known as The Antiquarian) (April 1932), pp. 16-20+, pg. 50

Ann Hamilton Sayre, "Centennial of Homer Watercolors", Art News (January 25, 1936), pp.5-6, 12, 5-6, repro.

Charles R. Henschel, Winslow Homer 1836-1910: Loan Exhibition of Water Colours Commemorating the Centenary of His Birth, exh. cat., M. Knoedler & Co. (New York, 1936), cat. 6

Homer Saint-Gaudens, Centenary Exhibition of Works of Winslow Homer, exh. cat., Carnegie Institute (Pittsburgh, PA, 1937), cat. 127

Forbes Watson, Winslow Homer, Crown Publishers Inc. (New York, 1942), pg. 88, repro.

Winslow Homer, exh. cat., Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, MA, 1944), no. 46

Lloyd Goodrich, Winslow Homer, MacMillan (New York, NY, 1944), pg. 79, repro. 22 of pl.

Gordon Hendricks, The Life and Work of Winslow Homer, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1979), CL-269, p. 297

Abigail Booth Gerdts, Winslow Homer in Monochrome, exh. cat., Knoedler & Co. Inc. (New York, NY, 1986), p. 86

Helen A. Cooper, Winslow Homer Watercolors, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art/Yale University Press (Washington, D.C. and New Haven, CT, 1986), pp. 113, 119, 161, n. 14, 250; reproduced in color fig. 106

Tony Knipe, ed., Winslow Homer: All the Cullercoats Pictures, exh. cat., Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (Sunderland, UK, 1988), pg. 107, repro. 91

Kate F. Jennings, Winslow Homer, Crescent Books (New York, NY, 1990), p. 58

Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Winslow Homer Watercolors, Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc. (New York, NY, 1991), reproduced in color pl. 43

Sue Welsh Reed and Carol Troyen, Awash in Color: Homer, Sargent, and the Great American Watercolor, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1993), pg. 113, no. 1

Ken Chowder, "Winslow Homer: the Quintessential American Artist", Smithsonian (Washington, D.C., October 1995), vol. 26, 116-129, reproduced in color, p. 116

Peter Neill, On a Painted Ocean: Art of the Seven Seas, New York University Press (New York, NY, 1995), reproduced in color, pp. 128-129

Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr. and Franklin Kelly, Winslow Homer, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art/Yale University Press (Washington, D.C.; New Haven, CT and London, England, 1995), p. 216-219, reproduced as catalogue no. 125, p. 216

Tony Harrison, Winslow Homer in Cullercoats, Station Press (Port Seton, UK, 1995), pp70, 114, repro.

David Cordingly, Ships and Seascapes: An Introduction to Maritime Prints, Drawings and Watercolors, Philip Wilson (London, 1997), reproduced in b/w p. 130

Miles Unger, The Watercolors of Winslow Homer, W. W. Norton & Company (New York, 2001), pg. 221, repro. 96-97.

Tony Harrison, Winslow Homer in England, Hornby Editions (Ocean Park, ME, 2004), pp iii, 119, ill.

Lloyd Goodrich and Abigail Booth Gerdts, Record of Works by Winslow Homer, Spanierman Gallery (New York, 2005-2014), vol. 4.2, p. 219, no. 1169, repr. p. 219, repr. in color p. 524

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., American Watercolors and Pastels 1875-1950 at the Fogg Art Museum, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2006), checklist

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., Virginia Anderson, and Kimberly Orcutt, ed., American Paintings at Harvard, Volume Two, Paintings, Drawings, Pastels and Stained Glass by Artists Born 1826-1856, Harvard University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge, MA and New Haven, CT, 2008), p. 161-62, cat. no. 123, reproduced in color

Otto Ocvirk, Art Fundamentals: Theory and Practice, McGraw-Hill Higher Education (New York, NY, 2008), p 228, fig. 8.5

Martha Tedeschi and Kristi Dahm, Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light, exh. cat., The Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press (Chicago, 2008), pp. 97, 100-101, 106, 108, fig. b (p. 101)

Gabrielle Townsend, Winslow Homer Aquarelles, Bibliothèque de l'Image (Paris, France, 2011), repr. pp. 16-17

Exhibition History

Sixteenth Annual Exhibition, American Water Color Society, New York, 01/29/1883 - 02/25/1883

Unidentified Exhibition, Doll and Richards, 1883, Doll and Richards Gallery, Boston, 12/01/1883 - 12/15/1883

Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Winslow Homer, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 02/08/1911 - 03/08/1911

Paintings in Water Color by Winslow Homer, John S. Sargent, Dodge MacKnight, Copley Society of Boston, 03/05/1921 - 03/22/1921

Watercolors by Winslow Homer, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 06/01/1924 - 08/31/1924

Water Colors by Winslow Homer, 1836 - 1910, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/16/1932 - 06/15/1932

Winslow Homer, 1836 - 1910: Loan Exhibition of Watercolors Commemorating the Centenary of his Birth, Knoedler & Co. Inc., New York, 01/20/1936 - 02/08/1936

Paintings and Drawings by Winslow Homer, 1836 - 1910, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1936 - 06/30/1986

Centenary Exhibition of Works of Winslow Homer, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 01/28/1937 - 03/07/1937

Unidentified Exhibition, Mead Art Gallery, 1940, Mead Art Museum, Amherst, 04/25/1940 - 05/09/1940

Water Colors by Winslow Homer, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, 05/11/1940 - 06/10/1940

Watercolors by Winslow Homer, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/09/1944 - 11/01/1944

Winslow Homer, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, 11/16/1944 - 12/17/1944

Winslow Homer Watercolors, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 03/02/1986 - 05/11/1986; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, 06/06/1986 - 07/27/1986; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 09/11/1986 - 11/02/1986

Winslow Homer, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 10/15/1995 - 01/28/1996; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 02/21/1996 - 05/26/1996

Winslow Homer: Poet of the Sea, Musée d'Art Américain, 27620 Giverny, 06/18/2006 - 09/24/2006

American Watercolors and Pastels, 1875-1950, at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/08/2006 - 06/25/2006

Watercolors by Winslow Homer: The Color of Light, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 02/16/2008 - 05/11/2008

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu