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“The Fog Warning” by Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer - The Fog Warning

“The Fog Warning” by Winslow Homer

“The Fog Warning” by Winslow Homer depicts a lone fisherman in a dory who has caught several halibut but now sees fog approaching, threatening to cut him off as he rows back to his ship. He looks over his shoulder as he faces his most challenging task of the day, the return to the main ship. The choppy seas and the high waves show that the journey home will demand all his physical efforts. The scene is psychologically disturbing as the risk of being lost as a result of a sudden fog is very real.

Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer was best known for his marine subjects and is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th-century America. Mostly self-taught, Homer began his career working as a commercial illustrator. He later took up oil painting and produced significant studio works. He also worked extensively in watercolor, creating a rich legacy, primarily chronicling his working vacations.

The Fog Warning / Halibut Fishing

  • Title:                The Fog Warning / Halibut Fishing
  • Artist:              Winslow Homer
  • Year:                1885
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   76.8 × 123.1 cm (30.2 × 48.5 in)
  • Museum:        Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Winslow Homer

A Tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


  • What emotions does this painting evoke?
  • In our modern careers, can we distinguish a danger when it is threatening us?
  • Is this a representation of man’s stoic relationship with nature?
  • How has our relationship with nature changed?
  • Homer’s advice to artists was: “Look at nature, work independently, and solve your problems.” Is this good general advice?


“The sun will not rise or set without my notice and thanks.”
– Winslow Homer


Photo Credit: 1) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons