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spacerBreezing Up
zoomBreezing Up (A Fair Wind), 1873-1876, oil on canvas, Gift of the W. L. and May T. Mellon Foundation

One of Homer's most popular paintings, Breezing Up was first exhibited in 1876, the year of America's centenary celebration. Critics hailed the work for its freshness and energy. Amid the general climate of optimism and great expectations for the future, some sensed an even larger meaning in the scene—one writer declared that "the skipper's young American son, gazing brightly off to the illimitable horizon [is a symbol of] our country's quiet valor, hearty cheer, and sublime ignorance of bad luck."

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