Two Guides

The men in this painting were well-known wilderness guides in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, a region the artist visited regularly. Their axes and the felled trees nearby suggest they are clearing trails for hikers and hunters. Homer’s richly colored scene alludes not only to the inevitable cycles of life—from summer to autumn and sapling to stump––but also the transfer of experience from elder to youth.

Winslow Homer

American, 1836–1910

Two Guides


Oil on canvas

24 1/4 x 38 1/4 in. (61.6 x 97.2 cm) Frame: 34 7/8 x 48 11/16 x 3 1/4 in. (88.6 x 123.7 x 8.3 cm)

Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1916




Conrads, Margaret C. American Paintings and Sculpture at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1990.