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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 laborious 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 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 watercolour, creating a rich legacy, primarily chronicling his working vacations.

Exploring Winslow Homer


  • 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 own problems.” Is this good general advice?

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

  • Name:            Winslow Homer
  • Born:             1836 – Boston, Massachusetts
  • Died:              1910 – (aged 74) – Prouts Neck, Maine
  • Nationality:  American
  • Movement:   Realism
  • Notable works:


“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand,
as if it were necessary to understand
when it is simply necessary to love.”

– Claude Monet


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