The drawing belongs to a group of fishing scenes drawn by Homer in 1884 and apparently made with a fishing fleet on the high seas.1 Details of this trip are unknown; his drawings constitute the only documentation of the voyage. Other sheets, similar in style to the Clark drawing, are A Haul of Herring,2 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and A Rolling Sea3 and The Herring Net,4 Cooper Union Museum.
Although the drawing recalls Monet’s seascapes of a decade earlier, Homer’s style of drawing was based on his own observations of nature rather than on the works of the French Impressionists.
An earlier title of the drawing, Ship at Anchor (Gloucester, Mass.), is probably not an accurate indication of the site. The drawing was lightly restored in 1960.
1. Lloyd Goodrich, Winslow Homer (1944), p. 91.
2. Dated 1884. See Forbes Watson, Winslow Homer (New York ), no. 89 [illustrated]; Albert Ten Eyck Gardner, Winslow Homer (New York, 1961), p. 195 [illustrated].
3. Dated 1884. Exhibited New York, Wildenstein’s, Winslow Homer (exhibition catalogue) (1947), p. 50, no. 101 [illustrated; lent anonymously].
4. See Winslow Homer (exhibition catalogue) (Washington—New York, 1958-1959), p. 68, no. 213 [illustrated]; Gardner, Winslow Homer (1961), p. 194 [illustrated]. The drawing is a study for the painting of the same title, Art Institute of Chicago, dated 1885, illustrated in Gardner, p. 188.
—Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, Standish D. Lawder, and Charles W. Talbot, Jr., Drawings from the Clark Art Institute, 2 vols. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964), 1:142, no. 341.