For the first time in decades, The Art Institute presents a unique exhibition of the works revealing the development of the confident and immediate hand of Winslow Homer. More than 130 works are shown in this exhibition, starting with his works as a young printmaking apprentice. Early on, despite despising the grueling indoor work required of lithography, Homer displayed an incredible sensitivity to tonal variation. Breaking free of the print shop, the following years of work show the mark of a promising painter, but it is with his first visit to Europe, namely Gloucester, that his characteristic boldness begins to materialize. His female figures transform from lithe melancholic dreamers to sturdy broad-armed Libyan Sibyls under the influence of the drawings of Michelangelo. The work produced upon his return stateside in Maine are the most captivating, solely depicting the coast and the drama of the sea crashing upon the rocks, a clear articulation of his lifelong interest in connection with nature and the representation of the ephemeral. (Lisa Larson-Walker)
Through May 10 at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan.