The Maier Museum of Art
at Randolph College

“Winslow Homer’s Paris Courtyard” by Joseph Stanton

After Paris Courtyard (1867) by Winslow Homer

No one knows how Homer
passed his hours in Paris in 1867,
but we have a few pictures
of what he might have
glimpsed or imagined.

This moment found him
left banked in a world where
to be voyeur was de rigueur.
A lovely girl—
eyes downcast, demure,

hands crossed protectively to the fore,
walking in a courtyard—
Homer seems
to have favored
her shy demeanor—

a pose he was to repeat
after his return to New York,
giving us, on second view,
the same lovely girl
carrying flowers in a field of wheat.


Joseph Stanton is a Professor Emeritus of Art History and American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. His poems have appeared previously in Poetry, New Letters, Harvard Review, Antioch Review, Ekphrasic Review, and many other publications. Three of his six collections of poems are ekphrastic. Information about his 2019 collection, Moving Pictures, is available at the publisher’s website.