The Dinner Horn (Blowing the Horn at Seaside), 1870, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
In the late 1860s, Homer turned to life in rural and coastal America for his subject matter. His postwar work employs a brighter palette and freer brushwork, and shows his interest in the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere. The freshness of his touch is evident in the brilliant light and delicate coloration of The Dinner Horn (Blowing the Horn at Seaside. The young woman sounding the call to dinner appears in several other paintings and relates to one of Homer’s favorite motifs throughout the 1870s: the solitary female figure, often absorbed in thought or work.