Biography: Born in Boston and largely self-taught, Winslow Homer became one of the most important American painters of the 19th century. In 1859, the aspiring artist moved to New York, taking up residence at the Tenth Street Studio Building and studying at the National Academy of Design and learning to paint from Frederic Rondel. Homer began his career as a commercial illustrator, first gaining widespread attention for his Civil War pictures in Harper's Weekly. Some of his first major canvases are related to these illustrations. By the 1870s, Homer was making genre paintings of rural scenes, and later in the century he produced ambitious oil paintings and watercolors of marine subjects, especially in Prout's Neck, Maine.