Winslow Homer painted the dramatic seascape entitled The Gulf Stream in 1899, shortly after returning to Proust Neck, Maine, from the Bahamas. The artist would often visit tropical locations, like the Caribbean and the Bahamas, during the winter in search of beautiful subjects and landscapes to portray. Historians have read a lot into the hidden meanings of this artwork – some associate symbolism with Homer’s view on racial issues, as he was very involved with the Civil War, while others tie this painting to the artist’s sense of morals and his vulnerability after his father passed.
This painting was compared to Homer’s previous work entitled Breezing Up (or a Fair Wind), done in 1873, but as a more pessimistic view on the subject. In The Gulf Stream, the artist portrays a possibly disastrous scene where a man lays in his broken-down boat in the middle of the roaring ocean. He apparently survived a massive storm, but this is only one of his problems: the water is infested with great white sharks, and there is a waterspout approaching. When all hope seems to be lost, the shadow of a schooner can be seen in the far distance. Although the stranded man cannot see it, this work shows some sign of a hopeful thought.
The way Homer painted the rough and turbulent waves of the ocean gives a great sense of movement to the artwork. The bright sunlight shines upon the sailor and what is left of his ship, providing a warm feel to the focal point of the painting. The surface of the boat was painted with a golden ochre and an orange-brown, while the man’s skin tone is also a warm brown. The forefront of the canvas is covered with a very dark shadow as if the sun was behind very dark storm clouds, and the large sharks dwell in these shadows like night creatures. Homer inserts specks of red pigment on the blue waters representing blood, to also create a warm and cool contrast. There are drastic changes in sunny and dark areas in the water, giving an even more dynamic feel to the atmosphere. The sky isn’t clear, as the artist used ochre, gray, and purple pigments to show an after-storm effect.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of The Gulf Stream, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of The Gulf Stream that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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If, in the unlikely event you were dissatisfied with the painting after reviewing it in person, it can be returned for a full refund for up to 365 days after delivery.
When you receive the painting; you are free to return it for more revisions or else for a full refund minus our actual shipping cost -- which is, on average, $25 per painting.
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Depending on the degree of damage to the warranted painting, it will either be repaired or replaced. This warranty service is provided free of charge.