Back in Prouts Neck, Maine, after one of his winter visits to the Bahamas, Homer painted this dramatic scene of imminent disaster. Some art historians have read The Gulf Stream as symbolic, connecting it with the period鈥檚 heightened racial tensions. The painting has also been interpreted as an expression of Homer鈥檚 presumed sense of mortality and vulnerability following the death of his father.
Winslow Homer, (born February 24, 1836, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.鈥攄ied September 29, 1910, Prouts Neck, Maine), American painter whose works, particularly those on marine subjects, are among the most powerful and expressive of late 19th-century American art. His mastery of sketching and watercolour lends to his oil paintings the invigorating spontaneity of direct observation from nature (e.g., in The Gulf Stream, 1899). His subjects, often deceptively simple on the surface, dealt in their most-serious moments with the theme of human struggle within an indifferent universe.