Summer Night is an 1890 symbolist genre oil on canvas painting by American artist Winslow Homer. This work is in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France.
Analysis of Homer’s Summer Night
Although primarily known as a Realist, Winslow Homer blends Realism with a certain exotic or enigmatic Symbolism. What is painted in 1890’s Summer Night is a mood rather than an event.
Two women dance on the shore of a nocturnal moonlit sea while another group sits further back watching from the shadows. We can perhaps see in the rhythms of the waves those of the dance.
The real strength of the Summer Night, one could argue, is in the depiction of the interaction of light and the water which seems to provide a secondary focus to the dancing couple.
This picture was painted by Winslow Homer after he took up residence on the coast of Maine and communicates his love affair with the sea.