Rundlet-May House

Homeward Bound

Born in England, John George Brown (1831-1913) immigrated to Brooklyn, New York, in 1853. Having achieved enormous success painting city life, he became interested in the arduous lives of North Atlantic fishermen. Brown spent the summer of 1877 at Grand Manan Island, off northeastern Maine, and returned the following year, also visiting Gloucester, Massachusetts. Here, a hollow-eyed fisherman holds his dory’s rudder while smoking a pipe. Despite the threatening clouds, he appears unconcerned by his livelihood’s risks. Winslow Homer addressed a similar theme seven years later in his painting, The Fog Warning, painted in 1885, now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.