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Winslow Homer Greatest Wood Engraving


"the superlative "Snap-the-Whip," probably the finest of all his engravings."

This lovely print is widely acknowledged to be Winslow Homer's best engraving and rarely is it in such wonderful condition! Philip Beam in his book on Homer's wood engravings notes that,

an accent on carefree youth had always been prominent in Homer's work and he brought it to a climax in the mid-seventies with his "children's series." The best known of these are also masterpieces of his work in the engraving field:...and the superlative "Snap-the-Whip," probably the finest of all his engravings.

Gordon Hendricks in "The Life and Work of Winslow Homer" notes that the engraving is based on the oil on canvas by Homer that is now in the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio.

One of the reasons that this print is so valuable is that in addition to its artistic value it is relatively rare in good condition because it was the centerfold of a magazine and thus folded in the middle, sometimes with the binding twine holding the print into a bound volume in the center. As shown by the close-up below of the center of the print, this example is remarkably well preserved in the area where most problems have developed for other examples.


The precious Homer classic is in great condition and will come to you already matted and enclosed in a protective plastic sleeve. The Old Print Shop has an example in "good" condition that they are offering for $2,000. They provide an appropriate quote from Barbara Gelman in the book, The Wood Engravings of Winslow Homer, at xiii : "Neither critics nor those who value fine work can ignore the wood engravings that Homer produced in 1873 and 1874," she writes. "These are the greats, the culmination of nearly twenty years of draftsmanship...."

Price: $1,750

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