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.
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||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)|
|Acquisition||Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1916|
Winslow Homer, Two Guides, 1877, Oil on canvas. Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1916. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.3.
Conrads, Margaret C. American Paintings and Sculpture at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1990.
[Reichard & Co., New York, 1890]; Thomas B. Clarke, New York (by 1891–99, his sale, American Art Association, 14–18 Feb. 1899, no. 360); Chauncy J. Blair, Chicago (from 1899); Mary Mitchell Blair, Chicago, his wife (by 1915); [Scott & Fowles, New York, sold to Clark, 3 Nov. 1916]; Sterling Clark (1916–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.