Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

“The Gulf Stream” by Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer - The Gulf Stream - Metropolitan Museum of Art

“The Gulf Stream” by Winslow Homer

“The Gulf Stream” by Winslow Homer shows a lone man in a dismasted rudderless boat struggling against the waves of the sea. The marine theme was of interest to Homer for more than a decade as he often vacationed in Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean. Homer crossed the Gulf Stream many times, and his trips usually inspired several related works. A visit to Nassau and Florida preceded this painting and being the year after the death of his father, it may be revealing his sense of vulnerability.

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.


  • Did this painting, 100 years ago, create the same effect on audiences that “Jaws” did in modern times ago?
  • Is this a representation of man’s stoic relationship with nature?
  • Homer’s advice to artists was: “Look at nature, work independently, and solve your own problems.” Is this good general advice?

Explore the American Wing Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

The Gulf Stream

  • Title:                The Gulf Stream
  • Artist:              Winslow Homer
  • Year:                1899
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:  71.4 × 124.8 cm (28.1 × 49.1 in)
  • Museum:        Metropolitan Museum of Art – MET

Winslow Homer

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


“Look at nature,
work independently,
and solve your own problems.”

– Winslow Homer


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