The Watercolors of Winslow Homer

Miles Unger, Author, Winslow Homer, Editor
Miles Unger, Author, Winslow Homer, Editor W. W. Norton & Company $39.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-393-02047-2
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Though certainly more famous for his oil paintings, Winslow Homer was one of the first major artists to take watercolor seriously and to herald its acceptance in the 20th century as an art form in its own right, undertaken by stars like O'Keeffe, Prendergast and Hopper. Nearly 700 of his watercolors survive; 150-some are reproduced in The Watercolors of Winslow Homer by Miles Unger, a contributing New York Times critic. It's clear why these paintings, which seem like top-drawer book or magazine illustrations, hover in relative obscurity: the thin quality of the paint doesn't enrich Homer's rural and sea-faring subjects as does the texture he wrought from oil and canvas. But serious fans of turn-of-the-century American art will be delighted with this high-quality collection and Unger's learned text. (Oct. 22)
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