Hunting Dogs in Boat (Waiting for the Start)
Hunting Dogs in Boat (Waiting for the Start), 1889
Watercolor with sponging and scraping over graphite on paper
35.6 x 50.8 cm (14 x 20 inches)
Gift of Jesse H. Metcalf 94.005
Winslow Homer furthered the American landscape tradition by injecting it with human activity. Beginning in 1889, he spent summers and falls at the North Woods Club, a private preserve for sportsmen in the Adirondacks. His abundant and masterful watercolors of sporting subjects are among his most highly prized works. This early scene in Homer’s loose narrative on hounding depicts hunting dogs gathered in a boat awaiting a signal. During the hunt they chased deer into the water where the prey could be shot easily, a practice increasingly criticized at the time. Homer’s uniquely expressive and descriptive skill with watercolor is as captivating as his reflections on hunting and survival. This is the first Homer watercolor to be purchased by an American museum.