Incoming Tide, Scarboro Maine, 1883 by Winslow Homer

Homer was drawn to the starkly beautiful scenery of the peninsula of Prout's Neck, Maine, settling permenantly there in 1883. Working in watercolor, he began recording the wild power of the sea in various conditions of light and weather, as in this picture of waves breaking against the rugged shore in a dramatic spray of foam. It is one of Homer's first pure marine pictures, without the addition of figures or narrative. This depiction of the elemental forces of nature is an early indication of the artist's primary pictorial concern in his later years. A friend later recalled Homer's attraction to inclement weather: "When I knew him he was comparatively indifferent to the ordinary and peaceful aspects of the ocean....But when the lowering clouds gathered above the horizon, and tumultuous waves ran along the rockbound coast and up the shelving, precipitous rocks, his interest became intense."