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Winslow Homer
High Cliff, Coast of Maine.
1894
oil.
30 1/2 x 38 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William T. Evans



The ocean wages a mighty and relentless assault on a rocky cliff at Prout's Neck, Maine, where Winslow Homer took refuge from civilization for thirty years. Two small figures at the upper right provide the only hint of man's witness to the natural drama. Homer was despondent when the painting did not sell quickly, saying, “I cannot do better than that. Why should I paint?”