George Blake's Letter
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.
Susan has recently learned that her fiancé, Tom Collinson, is returning to claim her as his bride. Sadly, she reads a letter from her true love, George Blake, in which he entreats her for one final meeting before she marries. The novel ends happily, however, with Portia and Josselin married and wealthy, and Susan and George destined to be together because Collinson’s shady past is revealed. Of the five illustrations Homer produced for this novel, only this one approaches his work in oils in terms of its pictorial strength and depth of feeling, and indeed, it bears striking similarity to a number of his canvases depicting solitary women dating from the early 1870s.
Sheet: 9 x 5 5/8 in. (22.9 x 14.3 cm)
Image: 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (16.5 x 11.4 cm)
Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Lower left, below image: "Drawn by Winslow Homer."
This item is not on view
Gift of Harvey Isbitts
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Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). George Blake's Letter, 1870. Wood engraving, Sheet: 9 x 5 5/8 in. (22.9 x 14.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.105.142
overall, 1998.105.142_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Illustration for Annie Edwards's "Susan Fielding," from The Galaxy, January 1870, vol. XI, p. 258, frontispiece
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