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The Wreck of the "Atlantic"--Cast Up by the Sea

Winslow Homer

American Art

The ocean coast had its dangers as well as its attractions. Shipwreck was a pervasive fear in the nineteenth century. Maritime disasters like the loss of this steamship off the coat of Newfoundland were regularly reported in the newspapers and magazines. Homer’s image, at once pathetic and erotic, of “one of the many painful incidents of the days following the breaking up of the wreck” is based not only on actual reports of the Atlantic tragedy, but also, it has been suggested, on an earlier literary source, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Wreck of the Hesperus (1839).

MEDIUM Wood engraving
DATES 1873
DIMENSIONS Image: 9 1/8 x 13 7/8 in. (23.2 x 35.2 cm) Sheet: 11 1/8 x 16 in. (28.3 x 40.6 cm) Frame: 16 3/4 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (42.5 x 57.8 x 3.8 cm)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Harvey Isbitts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
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