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Winslow Homer's Famous Civil War Wood Engraving

Offered here is an original wood engraving of Winslow Homer's "The Army of the Potomac - A Sharp-Shooter On Picket Duty" published in 1862! It will come to the buyer nicely matted and in a protective plastic enclosure. This is a wonderful example of Homer's work that is much in demand by both Homer and Civil War collectors. See the example and explanation in the National Gallery of Art's collection.

When Winslow Homer made the transition from illustrator to the medium of watercolors the first image he chose to paint was the Sharpshooter, which is shown above. The wood engraving offered is based on but a little different from the watercolor executed earlier in 1862 (e.g. the addition of the canteen and a clearer focus on the face of the marksman) and in many ways provides clearer details.

In "Echo Of A Distant Drum: Winslow Homer and the Civil War" by Julian Grossman (New York, 1974) the author says of the wood engraving:

The wood engraving presents a bold and beautiful design. In effect it glamorizes the war. The sharpness of the solder's eye and the accuracy of his air are heroized in this composition. He is seen from surprisingly close up, as if the viewer were sitting on a nearby limb. The marksman's target is not seen, but we know that the glistening gun barrel is aimed at another American.

In a way the mass scenes do not, this single large figure somehow brings home the peculiar horror of the Civil War...

The sharpshooter is perched high in the tree. The warm beauty of the needles, cones, and bark is juxtaposed to the cold, man-made reality of the means of war.

The Philadelphia Print Shop offers the same Homer engraving for $750 and New York's Old Print Shop currently does not have one for sale.

Price: $450

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