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Shipwreck Winslow Homer and The Life Line

written by Kathleen Foster

Yale University Press | ISBN 9780300185478

Paperback – 128 pages


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"The Life Line", a thrilling scene of rescue on the high seas, firmly established Winslow Homer (1836-1910) as one of the leading American painters of his day, and one of the foremost maritime artists of all time. Combining a close analysis of Homer's masterpiece with an engaging look at the history of images of disaster and rescue in art and popular culture, "Shipwreck!" explores the making and meaning of an iconic American work of art. Kathleen A. Foster locates "The Life Line" within the tradition of shipwreck paintings from the 17th century onward, as well as in relation to Homer's earlier work, which also featured themes of disaster, suspense, and salvation. In addition, the book presents new research that tracks Homer's delicate management of the figures' erotic embrace, and traces how the artist was influenced by popular contemporary images of drowning, rescue, and mourning as well as the development of new life-saving technologies.

Artist: Winslow Homer

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