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The iconic painting entitled Undertow was done by American artist Winslow Homer in 1886. The painter was inspired by a dramatic scene he witnessed three years earlier in a New Jersey beach, near Atlantic City. The final result was achieved after Homer did a series of drawing studies with live models, to create the perfect composition. The artist was dedicated to a precise representation and would make his models wet, so he could realistically capture the effect of soaking fabric grabbing to the skin.
In Undertow, There are two women virtually centered on the canvas, grabbing onto each other for dear life, while two men attempt to rescue them from the ravage ocean. Both women wear fashionable one-piece bathing suits of the period and seem to be unconscious. The girl on the left is in brown clothing, holding her hair with one hand, and latching onto her own waist, so to maintain her friend close. Clinging on to her, the woman on the right wears a blue bathing suit with yellow details and has her face hidden – different than the woman on the left, which is the only figure in the painting that shows her full face. Although the scene is dramatic, her expression is calm and her eyes are closed. Strong men stand on each side of the two women, holding a wooden life raft, hoping to get them safely back to shore. The bubbly water was painted in a natural color palette of blue, green, and white pigments. The background shows a massive and dark crashing wave, giving attention to the imminent danger.
In 1887, the magazine The Critic wrote about Undertow, stating that it represents Homer’s best-shown draftsmanship and understanding of the human figure. In fact, the artist didn’t only rely on his models as reference for this work, but also antique Greek sculptures – which he had seen in the early 1880s in a British museum. The figures in this painting resemble the solid statues of the ancient Greeks, and the bodies are represented in perfect anatomy proportions. If carefully observed, the three figures of the left create a triangle – typically seen in the ancient Greek architecture. Homer beautifully combines a very modern subject, an ordinary but drastic moment, with the techniques of classic art.
Real Oil Paints, Real Brushes, Real Artists, Real Art. The Certificate of Authenticity which arrives with every painting provides an assurance and verifies the authenticity of the hand painted fine art reproduction you purchased. Each oil painting is created by hand using only the finest canvas and oil paints available.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Undertow, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Undertow 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.
Free shipping is included in the price of the painting. Once the painting is ready and dry enough to ship, we will roll it and ship it in a sturdy cardboard tube.
We always ship express via courier to ensure your order reaches you as soon as possible - normally within three business days. The total delivery time from the moment you place your order until the package is delivered to your door is normally between three to four weeks.
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.
1st Art Gallery provides a full warranty covering manufacturing and material defects for paintings purchased from our website. The warranty covers damage for normal use. Damage caused by incidents such as accidents or inappropriate use are not covered.
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.
When purchasing a painting on its own, it will arrive rolled inside a secure tube with an extra 1.5" of white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
You may choose to purchase your painting framed, in which case, it will arrive "ready to hang". We offer more than 20 beautiful models, all hand finished and expertly assembled by our experienced framers.
Note that for safety reasons we can only frame up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached the framing option is automatically disabled.
If you are planning to frame your painting yourself,
use an existing frame, or frame it locally, you may choose to order your painting with a stretching service,
meaning that it will arrive mounted on wooden bars.
If you're considering not framing your painting at all, you may opt for a Gallery Wrap. The term Gallery Wrap refers to the way the canvas is stretched, which is by wrapping it around thick stretcher bars, about 1.5 inch thick, with the canvas being secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars.
All orders ship with UPS, FedEx or DHL and will arrive directly to your home or office. A tracking number will be emailed to you as soon as the order leaves our studio so you can track it online. All orders ship express and usually arrive within 4-5 days from the shipping date. Due to shipping restraints, many of our framed, stretched, and oversize paintings may take 6-21 days for arrival depending on the safest route determined by the postal service.