The Studio by Winslow Homer

The Studio, by Winslow Homer, shows the painting of a cellist and a violinist who are practicing in a studio using easels as music stands (Winslow Homer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art).  The artist who did the painting was Winslow Homer and lived in Boston, America between 1836 and 1910. The piece was done in 1867, measures 45.7 by 38.1 cm, and is in the class of paintings. It is painted in oil on canvas medium; its accession number is 39.14 and is on view at the Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 764, Metropolitan Museum (Winslow Homer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art). Other items in the painting include two musicians, and two chairs, musical scripts, and stands. The main issue to b researched is the artistic culture of the people of America during the 19th century. It will involve visual art in form of painting that depicted scenes of everyday life.

I discovered that American visual art has seen significant development especially for the painters who loved capturing unique moments and scenes. The research I performed related to American paintings in the late nineteenth century revealed that many artists were interested in real scenes and portraits depicting every life. For instance, from1830 many artists responded to the development of spaces for public exhibition in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia (Halle 75) Many changed to genre painting representing scenes of middle and lower class characters in their daily activities such as courtships, community life, and families, among others (Becker18). For instance, The Studio represents a genre painting of middle-class people interested in music. The fact that they are busy practicing with their instruments in a small and poorly furnished studio shows their value for music. The painter wanted to show the activities of Americans who loved art and were determined in its prosperity. According to research I did, I realized that the work of various artists depicted American identity and its rich culture. Genre painters such as Winslow were interested in creating work that was moralizing and taught citizens about virtue. I discovered that artistic competition escalated in the 18th century such that more artists joined and produced impressive work (Halle 82). Women painters also acceded to the team to paint current issues affecting the American nation and its people. The most important thing I have found about the topic is that artists were eager to produce high-quality portraits depicting everyday life in America. The research fits into the phenomena depicted in the painting of The Studio, which represents peoples’ life in America in the late 19th century.

I discovered that the culture of art in America in the 18th century opened doors to artists to communicate to their audiences through genre paintings. The picture of the Studio is one of the works done during the time depicting the life of two musicians practicing in a small room (Winslow Homer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art). Winslow based most of the work on the lives of lower and middle-class Americans as portrayed in the painting. Considering the size of the studio, the stands they use to support musical scripts, and other furniture it is clear to state that the two musicians belonged to the middle-class people. They did not have a lot of money to rent or build a modern studio and managed to do their work in a small room.

The Studio fits clearly in the description of art that was common in America between the 1830s and 1890s revealing the people’s way of life. I found out that people managed to speak their minds out through work of art such as painting everyday scenes to demonstrate the experiences of the citizens. The two musicians are trying to perfect their skills aiming to become famous artists in America and other parts of the world.

From Winslow Homer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Title: The Studio,

Painter:  Winslow Homer

Accession number: 39.14

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