WINSLOW HOMER - THE GULF STREAM 1899|
Compare Homer's The Gulf Stream. Note the position of the boat and the position of the ship in the background. Although the similarity to Allston's painting is obvious, much is different. The boat is demasted. Instead of a square rigged ship with sails down, there is a schooner under full sail. The waterspout suggests a hurricane. Much has been written about Homer's The Gulf Stream, but it is mentioned here because of its connection to a book that Winslow Homer owned. That book provides significant additional background regarding how Winslow Homer viewed Nature and may add to the understanding of The Gulf Stream.
The Three Hebrews were miraculously preserved. Daniel tells us that Nebuchadnezzar himself saw them "loose and walking in the midst of the fire." "Not a hair of their heads was singed, neither were their coats changed, nor had the smell of the fire passed on them." Elsewhere in the Song of the Three Children, we are told that "they walked in the midst of the fire, praising God and blessing the Lord." After so signal a deliverance, who does not realize the exulting fervour with which their Hymn of gratitude was poured forth? The deepest consciousness of the almighty power of God welled up in their hearts and burst from their lips, and the whole universe was ransacked for illustrations, to typify and express it. ln whatever direction they turned they beheld nature crowed with emblems of His glory and beneficence, and they eagerly welcomed them as aids to lift up their thoughts to the fervour of their adoration." [from G. C. Child Chaplin, M.D., 1870, p.7 ffFurther on, Dr. Chaplin also wrote,
They who have acquired this sensibility to the hymns of praise for ever ascending from all God's works, have found an aid to adoration whose value is known to themselves, but which must sometimes appear like extravagant affectation to others who have never taken any pains to cherish it. ... It may, indeed, be truely said that he who undertakes to cull from the many fields of nature the most striking examples of God's Providence will find his chief difficulty to arise from the "embarrassment of riches." [G. C. Child Chaplin, M.D., 1870, p. 13 ff.