The Song of the Lark (1876) by Winslow Homer
During the decades after the Civil War, Winslow Homer was America’s foremost painter of everyday life. His realist depictions of laboring farmers, rugged wilderness guides, and storm-tossed New England fishermen stressed the powerful relationship between man and nature. By the time The Song of the Lark was painted, American farmers had largely replaced the scythe with the more efficient mechanical reaper. By depicting a farmer with a scythe, Homer nostalgically alludes to a simpler time.