Winslow Homer lived much of his last 25 years in Maine and painted some of his most dramatic oils.
In Coast of Maine, the sea hurl itself against the rocks and waves explodes toward the sky in giant billows hard white against the chilling black-brown of the stones. Certainly, Homer was obsessed with the sea and the area around it. Homer walked the Cliff Walk every day, and he studied the waves with his dog Sam and spent long hours sitting on the balcony of his studio studying the sea.
The oil depicts an offshore wave breaking over a submerged shelf. In the foreground, water rushes into an inlet formed by the rocks. In reality, the offshore wave would break only at low tide, but the wave fills the inlet only at high tide. The artist also rearranged the horizontal ledges of rock into a triangle so that it rivets attention on his main motive.
Homer lived at Prout's Neck until his death. He enjoyed isolation and was inspired by privacy and silence to paint the great themes of his career: the struggle of people against the sea and the relationship of fragile, transient human life to the timelessness of nature.