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"You Are Really Picturesque, My Love"

Winslow Homer

American Art

Regarded as one of the great American Realists of the nineteenth century, Winslow Homer is known primarily for his large body of works in oil and watercolor. However, he also had an early career as a freelance illustrator, making drawings for wood engravings that were reproduced in mass-circulation periodicals such as Harper’s Weekly. In 1998, the Brooklyn Museum received a generous gift of more than 250 wood-engraved illustrations by Homer from Harvey Isbitts.

As the novel Beechdale unfolds, it is discovered that Mrs. Baxter, wife of Septimus Baxter, president of Marion College, is the first cousin of Jessie’s long-dead mother. In the novel’s only humorous passage, the exacting Mrs. Baxter tries to coax her rumpled husband into improving his posture and dressing in a way more appropriate to his position in the community. Partly from dismay and partly to encourage him to relinquish his lackadaisical habits, Mrs. Baxter declares, “You are really picturesque, my love.” Homer’s depiction of the scene reveals the care he took in achieving the physical and psychological types of each character.

MEDIUM Wood engraving
DATES 1868
DIMENSIONS Image: 4 3/4 x 6 7/8 in. (12.1 x 17.5 cm) Sheet: 5 3/4 x 8 5/8 in. (14.6 x 21.9 cm) Frame: 15 x 20 x 1 1/2 in. (38.1 x 50.8 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "WH"
INSCRIPTIONS Text below image: "Drawn by Winslow Homer"
COLLECTIONS American Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1998.105.108
CREDIT LINE Gift of Harvey Isbitts
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). "You Are Really Picturesque, My Love," 1868. Wood engraving, Image: 4 3/4 x 6 7/8 in. (12.1 x 17.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.105.108
IMAGE overall, 1998.105.108_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (64%)
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