Homer’s first biographer, William Howe Downes, recounted that the artist was sitting outside his studio one summer evening in 1894 when he exclaimed, “‘I’ve got an idea!’. . . He almost ran into the studio, seized his painting outfit, emerged from the house, and clambered down over the rocks towards the shore.” This picture “was the result of that impulse and four or five hours’ work. . . . It was painted wholly in and by the light of the moon, and never again retouched.” The spot of red pigment on the horizon denotes the lighthouse on Wood Island, to the south of Prouts Neck, Maine.
Signature: [at lower left]: W H 1894
Inscription: [on original stretcher, now replaced]: Wood Island Light, Winslow Homer
with Gustav Reichard and Company, New York, until 1895; Thomas B. Clarke, New York, 1895–1899; sale, American Art Galleries, New York, 17 Feb. 1899, no. 350; with Boussod, Valadon and Company, New York, 1899; George A. Hearn, New York, by 1907
Artist: Winslow Homer (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1836–1910 Prouts Neck, Maine)Date: 1873Medium: Watercolor washes and gouache over graphite underdrawing on medium rough textured white wove paperAccession: 2001.608.1On view in:Not on view