"I Cannot! It Would Be A Sin! A Fearful Sin!"
Ignorant of Jessie’s conflicted feelings, her dying father insists that she and Roy honor their vows to marry. Here Roy has just restated his love for Jessie and she sinks to the floor, overcome by her feelings about the sinfulness of entering into a loveless marriage. Although the imagery of a woman prostrate at the feet of a man would have been familiar to Homer’s viewers (for it echoes the Victorian iconography attached to the narrative of the “fallen woman”), Homer added a twist here by reversing the placement of the more sympathetic character within the composition.
- Artist: Winslow Homer, American, 1836-1910
- Medium: Wood engraving
- Dates: 1868
- Dimensions: Image: 7 x 5 in. (17.8 x 12.7 cm) Sheet: 9 1/4 x 5 7/8 in. (23.5 x 14.9 cm) Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 1998.105.117
- Credit Line: Gift of Harvey Isbitts
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). "I Cannot! It Would Be A Sin! A Fearful Sin!," 1868. Wood engraving, Image: 7 x 5 in. (17.8 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.105.117
- Record Completeness: Good (62%)