Northeaster, 1895; reworked by 1901. Winslow Homer. Oil on canvas. Gift of George A. Hearn, 1910.
On the Maine coast, a “nor’easter” is a storm of exceptional violence and duration. When Homer first showed this canvas in 1895, it included two men in foul-weather gear crouching on the rocks below a smaller column of spray. Even though the painting was well received and purchased by a leading collector of American art—George Hearn, who later donated it to the Metropolitan Museum—Homer reworked it to powerful effect.