Monday, November 2, 2009

Winslow Homer wants us to just smile.


Snap the Whip by Winslow Homer
1872, Oil on Canvas, 22 x 36 in.

First and foremost, who remembers this game? I remember watching people play this, mostly boys, but I was a rather petite little child and playing this game just might have killed me. I avoided dangerous games like dodge ball, so I am sure this was definitely up there on the "No way Jose" list.  This game has been around forever- this and Red Rover are favorite recess games. Just look at the date of this picture, proof that it's been around for at least 100 years. Anyways, I love this picture. Winslow Homer illustrated for Harper's Weekly doing mostly Civil War stuff, but after the war he switched to happier things- like 19th century America, hooray!


Snap the Whip is just so precious. It reminds me of reading Little House on the Prairie during Christmas vacation- just simple and happy times. The little boys have not a care in the world and are just playing a game they love. Homer loved to paint the good 'ol days before the Industrial Revolution. I fear that when I show my kids this picture in many years to come, they will say something like, "You mean these little boys didn't have video games?" I admit, at times it is even hard for me to remember a time without technology, but I do remember dial-up internet- something I am proud of!

All and all, this image is just one of those timeless pieces. From the beautiful detail of the landscape, to the sky that looks like a storm is coming, to the little house in the background, to the little boys cute clothes, and to the little details of the flowers in the grass- this is just plain cute. You can not help but look at this painting and think, "Awww" while smiling. Winslow Homer created a lot of images that evoke a simple smile and THAT is something I can definitely appreciate.

Winslow Homer wants us to just smile.

3 comments:

  1. Are the two kids on the right conjoined twins or are they just really happy to be playing, and perhaps giving a new meaning to, Snap The Whip?

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  2. I don't think so, you can kind of see the boy in the back's legs behind the front boys legs. Plus, I have never read any commentary stating otherwise, I think it's just hard to see in the small picture on the site. Plus you're right, it does kind of look like that!

    Thanks for the comment!

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  3. Actually, this painting is said to represent post Civil War America; North and South, one nation etc.
    The boys hang on to one another, strain to stay connected, run in perfect harmony and fall away, reflecting the acts of soldiers.

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