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Collection Spotlight

Winslow Homer, Eight Bells

Winslow Homer
Eight Bells, 1886
oil on canvas
gift of anonymous donor

Winslow Homer’s iconic painting, Eight Bells (1886), captures two oilskin-clad sailors as they stand on ship deck to take their bearing at storm’s end, their sou’wester hats glistening in the breaking sun as if these resolute men have been anointed after successful battle with tempestuous nature. It is the last of a series of majestic marine paintings made by Homer in the 1880s that focused on the relationship between man and sea. This painting, one of the most famous of the Addison’s founding collection, has resonated in the minds and hearts of countless visitors and alumni since the museum’s opening in 1931.

Author: Susan Faxon, Associate Director and Curator

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