Winslow Homer Civil War New Year


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Winslow Homer Artwork:

Seeing the Year Out

The illustration at right is from the January 5, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly.  The illustration is by Winslow Homer, and is entitled, "Seeing the Year Out".  You may click on the picture for an enlarged view.

This is an unusual Homer illustration.  On the left, you see a group of people toasting and celebrating at the clock strikes midnight.

Winslow Homer - Seeing the Year Out

January 5, 1861 -  Seeing the Year Out

To the right is an image of a large group of people in what appears to be sincere and earnest prayer in a church.  Women appear to be weeping, and on their knees in prayer. In the background there is a preacher in the pulpit with what looks like heavenly rays of light illuminating him.  This portion of the image is captioned, "Watch Night".  In the upper left of the overall picture is a group of heavenly beings .  Some have the wings of angels.  To the upper right of the image is what appears to be tortured soles wondering around in hopelessness.

I have to admit I have trouble understanding what Homer is getting at with this picture.  If you have ideas, please submit them, and I would be pleased to post your review of the piece.  I am just not able to put it all together in my mind.

A Note to our Readers

We acquired the images above for the purpose of digitally persevering them on this site for all to enjoy.  With the digital archive complete, we are making the original, 140 year old illustrations available for purchase.  By selling these original illustrations, we are able to acquire more material to archive on this site.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the original Harper's Weekly leafs on this page, contact The leafs are available for a price of $250 a piece, and the proceeds will go to continue to expand the resources on this site.




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