The Gulf Stream is a 1899 Boats Painting by Winslow Homer. It shows a man in a small rudderless fishing boat struggling against the waves of the sea, and was the artist's last statement on a theme that had interested him for more than a decade. People Paintings Homer vacationed often in Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean. In 1900 Homer sent The Gulf Stream to Philadelphia to be exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and after it was returned later that year he wrote "I have painted on the picture since it was in Philadelphia & improved it very much (more of the Deep Sea water than before)."
In 1906 The Gulf Stream was exhibited at the National Academy of Design, Building Paintings and all the members of the academy's jury petitioned the Metropolitan Museum of Art to purchase the painting. Oil Paintings for sale Newspaper reviews of the work were mixed; it was seen as more melodramatic than Homer's usual work. A reviewer in Philadelphia noted that viewers had laughed at the painting, which he referred to as "Smiling Sharks", describing the scene as "a naked negro lying in a boat while a school of sharks [are] waltzing around him in the most ludicrous manner". Famous Paintings Another contemporary critic wrote that The Gulf Stream "displays a certain diffusion of interest seldom seen in the canvases of [Homer's] best manner".The museum bought the painting the same year.