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Outward Bound

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Image of Outward Bound

Andrew Wyeth
American, 1917–2009

Outward Bound


Object Type: Painting
Creation Place: North America, American, Maine
25 3/8 in. x 40 in. (64.45 cm x 101.6 cm)
Medium and Support: Watercolor on paper
Accession Number: 1989.0002.0041

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The Blount Collection
Copyright: © The Estate of Andrew Wyeth / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

"Outward Bound" depicts the Maine coastline near Wyeth’s Cushing home. As with all the artist’s subjects, it is an intimate vista, a part of the world he saw routinely. Wyeth was clearly bound to the history of the places he inhabited, and his watercolors of the Maine coast reverberate with the connection to Homer, whom Wyeth greatly admired: “I never wanted to copy the work of other people, but I wanted to find the truth in nature they were expressing—and then find my own truth. So Homer led me on to something else.” The romance and adventure associated with the sea are evoked in the broad expanse of the horizon, broken only by the small sails of the outward-bound catboat. In this work, the canon is not simply a prop, but seems to be an ancient witness, recalling the centuries of seafaring tradition that underlie the history of the Maine coast.

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