SOLD Figure Study (The Cullercoats Fisherwomen), ca. 1881-1882

by Winslow Homer (1836–1910)
Charcoal and gouache on paper
8¼ x 11⅞ inches (sight size)
Initialed lower left: H


Macbeth Gallery, New York, New York, 1902

Private collection, acquired from above, ca. 1902

Private collection

Private collection, acquired from above, 1998

Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, New York, December 11, 2020, lot 115

Private collection


Walter W. Cole, “Some Crayon Studies by Winslow Homer,” Brush and Pencil 11, no. 4 (January 1903): 277.

Lloyd Goodrich and Abigail Booth Gerdts, Record of Works by Winslow Homer: 1881 through 1882, vol. IV.1 (New York: The Goodrich-Homer Art Education Project, 2012), 121, no. 1120.

Related Works

Four Fishwives on the Beach, 1881, watercolor over graphite on wove paper, 16 x 23 inches, initialed and dated lower right; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Women on the Sands (Mussel Gatherers), 1881–1882, black and white watercolor with white chalk on brown paper, 8⅝ x 13 inches, signed lower left; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Fisherwomen, 1882, charcoal, white chalk, and graphite on wove paper, 8½ x 12½ inches, signed and dated lower left; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Two Figures by the Sea, 1882, oil on canvas, 19¼ x 34¼ inches; Denver Art Museum, Colorado

Note: After traveling to England in 1881 to study the work of J. M. W. Turner, Winslow Homer settled in Cullercoats, a small coastal village in northeast England, where he would stay for over a year living among the fishing community. Homer created many depictions of the women of Cullercoats, sometimes called the fishwives, performing a variety of strenuous work— maintaining fishing nets, carrying baskets of catch from the boat, and preparing fish for sale. As Walter W. Cole wrote in 1903, “It is by studies such as these that Homer acquired his superb mastery in the depiction of the sea with its mystery and terror, and in the portrayal of the simple, heroic people who tempt its dangers.”[1]

[1] Walter W. Cole, “Some Crayon Studies by Winslow Homer,” Brush and Pencil 11, no. 4 (January 1903): 276.

Artist Biography

Famed American Realist and Landscape Artist

By Margarita Karasoulas

With a skillful mastery of the American landscape and a deep devotion to American subjects, Homer’s works established him at the forefront of the realist tradition in the late 19th century. He is best remembered for his peaceful rural scenes, maritime views, and an unmatched command of the watercolor medium.

I. Biography
II. Chronology
III. Collections
IV. Exhibitions
V. Memberships
VI. Notes
VII. Suggested Resources

I. Biography

Winslow Homer is celebrated as

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