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Flirting on the Sea-Shore and on the Meadow

Winslow Homer

American Art

Homer’s double register of witty illustrations needed no text to remind the reader that another popular summer recreation was the game of playing at courtship known as flirting. His images offer a set of variations on the theme, contrasting the beach and countryside; moonlight and high noon; and the worlds of adults and children. The dark pyramid formed by the couple near the waves reinforces a sense of assignation and erotic mystery. Broad daylight, in contrast, illuminates the encounter of two prone farm boys rapt in their mutual admiration of the little girl who sits before them. The humor of children playing at such courtship is suggested by the family of ducks who march into the left foreground; a visual pun on the ultimate outcome of such courting rituals.

MEDIUM Wood engraving
DATES 1874
DIMENSIONS Image: 9 1/4 x 13 5/8 in. (23.5 x 34.6 cm) Sheet: 11 x 16 1/4 in. (27.9 x 41.3 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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