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The Winslow Homer Painting Gulf Stream—A Black Man Alone in A Terrible Sea

Above is the Winslow Homer painting Gulf Stream. 

Even though I have a pretty good life, I have to admit I do feel in some regards that we are all alone in a rough sea. 

A black person in 1899, when this painting was completed, was quite alone in a rough sea.

Note in the background to the right a stormy water spout while to the left is a big clipper ship that will likely offer no rescue. The outline of the clipper is very hard to see in this copy. That’s okay—Help was not forthcoming in any case. 

Look at all that red in the water. It’s as if the sea by its very nature has blood in the water to draw the sharks to the most vulnerable. It’s possible that the man in the painting has a mate who has already been eaten. It’s also possible that the blood is simply always in the water and life is perilous by nature–Especially for certain types of unlucky folks.    

This is an oil painting. Mr. Homer studied oil painting in two visits he made to the Bahamas in the late 19th century.

Winslow Homer lived from 1836 until 1910. He was a somewhat reserved man. Likely he was keeping his energy for his work. Here is a biography of Mr. Homer.    

Here is a link to many Winslow Homer paintings from the National Gallery of Art. 

Here is information about what the Gulf Stream is in our climate.

December 7, 2007 Posted by | Art | , , , | 15 Comments