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Cutting a Figure

American Art

The fashionable little coquette in this image functions as a charming seasonal “pin-up.” The title plays on two meanings of “cutting a figure”—referring both to the girl’s stylishness and to her pursuit of literally cutting a pattern in the ice. Homer created a fine picture that evokes the chill atmosphere and is filled with subtle compositional tensions, such as the relationship of the tree and its reflection in the ice that forms a rigid line along the length of the girl’s body.

MEDIUM Wood engraving
DATES 1871
DIMENSIONS Image: 12 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (32.7 x 50.5 cm) Sheet: 11 1/8 x 14 5/8 in. (28.3 x 37.1 cm) Frame: 22 3/4 x 28 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (57.9 x 73 x 3.8 cm)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Harvey Isbitts
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Page from Every Saturday, February 4, 1871, vol II, New Series, pp. 116-117 Drawn by Winslow Homer, engraved by W. H. Morse
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
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