Toledo Museum Home

Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Winslow Homer
American, 1836–1910

Palm Trees, Bahamas

Watercolor on paper, about 1898–99
Purchased with funds from the Florence Scott Libbey Bequest in Memory of her father, Maurice A. Scott, 1952.27

Palm Trees, Bahamas was painted in the winter months of 1898–99, probably in Nassau. Conceived from a low vantage point, the curving and straight trunks of palm trees climb toward a stormy sky against which their dark fronds are ominously silhouetted. In the lower right a reddish brown steeple subtly rises above the sloping ridge in the middle distance. As often encountered in watercolors by Homer, the untouched white of the sheet—here seen in much of the sky at right—plays a significant and intentional role in the completion of the composition.