Skip to main content

Weaning the Calf (work of art)

Artwork Info

Created
1875
Artist
Winslow Homer
Nationality
American
Birth/Death
1836-1910
Dimensions
24 x 38 in.
(61.0 x 96.5 cm)
Medium
Painting

Credit

Purchased with funds from the State of North Carolina

Culture
American

About

Charming paintings of a summer childhood in the country were popular in the decades following the Civil War. Having experienced the war firsthand, Winslow Homer understood the attraction and solace of sweet nostalgia. Weaning the Calf was painted in the same year as Mark Twain completed Tom Sawyer, and the novel shares with the painting a loving and humorous memory of youthful days when the only struggle was with river pirates—or an unruly calf.

However, the painting is not so simple to explain. The foreground figure of the Black boy is a surprise. That the boy is clad in tatters and labors mightily while his better-dressed white companions look on has prompted an unsettled debate over the artist’s intentions.

 

tags: farm, landscape, force, children, animals

Images

  • Winslow Homer Weaning the Calf painting 1875

    Weaning the Calf by Winslow Homer