Boys in a Pasture, 1874 depicts Two farm boys rest in a field, a quiet moment emblematic of 19th century rural America, brings nostalgia for the happy and innocent time before the civil War.
Most of Homer's paintings are very bright. Boys in a Pasture, like other of his works, show Homer's dexterity in using color to capture the mood of the scene. In Boys in the Pasture, Homer's scene of children at play expresses a hope for the future.
Homer paints from a vantage point close to the ground, which raises the horizon and gives the pasture an enhanced sense of boundlessness and freedom. The triangle formed by the boys that echoes the shape of the straw hat gives an architectural stability to the composition that lends a sense of permanence to the scene. Points in the direction of the boys' gaze is to a horizon so distant that it lies beyond the edge of the world defined by the canvas.
In 2010, the U.S. Post Office Department honored Winslow Homer by issuing a 44-cent postage stamp featuring Boys in a Pasture. It's Homer's third time on a U.S. postage stamp. The first was in 1962, featuring Breezing Up. In 1998 a stamp carried his painting The Fog Warning.