On View

Banana Tree - Nassau

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Banana Tree - Nassau

Artist: Winslow Homer (American, 1836 - 1910)
Date: 1885
Medium: Watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
Frame: 24 3/4 × 20 1/2 × 1 3/8 in. (62.9 × 52.1 × 3.5 cm.)
Sheet: 14 3/8 × 13 3/8 in. (36.5 × 34 cm.)
Image (visible): 14 × 13 in. (35.6 × 33 cm.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bohen in memory of Edwin T. Meredith, Jr., 1966.23
Accession number: 1966.23
Classification: work on paper
Copyright:Public Domain
Label TextNassau, for Homer, was a radical contrast to his new home in Maine, the isolated, rugged Prout's Neck by the sea, where he had moved permanently in 1884. He responded immediately to the brilliant tropical sunlight, the primitive life, and the lush vegetation. The watercolors that resulted were the most direct, colorful, fresh and sure that he had yet done, with bold compositions that were at once simple and monumental. They marked a new departure for the artist, with a direct naturalism, vigor, and strength of color that he was to develop further during the rest oif his life. Source: DMAC Bulletin, January, 1967
Selected as membership reproduction of the year. Reproductions available free to members. Source: DMAC Bulletin, May-June 1978
In 1884, Homer received a commission from the conservative Century Magazine to illustrate “A Midwinter Resort,” an upcoming article focusing on Nassau, the port city of the Bahamas. Homer was arguably America’s leading watercolorist at the time, and the Bahamas was fast becoming a respite for Americans who yearned to escape bitter winter temperatures. During his two month stay, Homer painted this work and over thirty others that depict Nassau’s luminous landscape. Two years later, “A Midwinter Resort” was published and included nine woodcut engravings based on Homer’s watercolors. Unfortunately, the artist’s loose handling of paint and vivid palette was lost in the published images. October, 2020
SignedWinslow Homer 1885 (l,r black watercolor)
Exhibition HistoryWINSLOW HOMER: AN AMERICAN GENIUS AT THE PARTHENON, The Parthenon, Nashville, TN, 2000

"Masterworks on Paper: Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries," Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, October 10, 1998 - January 24, 1999

"A Collection in the Making, Painting and Graphic Arts from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bohen," Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nov. 12 - Dec. 10, 1967

"Collectors Choice," Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Oct. 16 - Nov. 6, 1966

"Century Loan Exhibition as a Memorial to Winslow Homer," Prouts Neck, Maine, 1936

“Water-Color Views by Winslow Homer,” Reichard & Co., New York, December 9, 1885 to January, 1886
Published ReferencesWilliam H. Downes, THE LIFE AND WORK OF WINSLOW HOMER, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, 1911, ref. p.129

"Century Loan Exhibition as a Memorial to Winslow Homer," Prouts Neck, ME, 1936, exh. cat. no.60, ill.

"Art News in Pictures," CONNOISSEUR MAGAZING, Oct. 1966, ref. p.119, repro.

"Collectors Choice," Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, 1966, exh. cat. no.34, cover ill.

DMAC Bulletin, Jan. 1967, cover ill.

ART QUARTERLY, Summer 1967, ill. p.172

"A Colletion in the Making, Painting and Graphic Arts from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bohen," Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, 1967, exh. cat. no.19, color, ill.

DMAC Bulletin, May/June 1978, ill.

Gordon Hendricks, THE LIFE AND WORK OF WINSLOW HOMER, Abrams, New York, N.Y., 1979, ill. no.CL-127, p.287

DES MOINES ART CENTER: SELECTED PAINTINGS, SCULPTURES AND WORKS ON PAPER, Des Moines Art Center, 1985, ref. pp.83 & 84, color ill. pl.XII, p.108

WINSLOW HOMER: AN AMERICAN GENIUS AT THE PARTHENON, The Parthenon, Nashville, TN, 2000, ref. p.67, color ill.

"Literature", McDougal Littell, 2008, color ill. pg. xxvii





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