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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)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Harvey Isbitts
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). Cutting a Figure, 1871. Wood engraving, Image: 12 7/8 x 19 7/8 in. (32.7 x 50.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.105.167 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.105.167_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1998.105.167_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.
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
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