Edward Hopper, if you are not already familiar with him, was a master realist painter in the early 1900’s. He has a particular focus on architecture, light patterns, and process. His extenisve sketching and planning resulted in paintings that have a spontaneous yet well resolved quality, capturing a single breath or moment in time. His use of light makes the fact that he was influenced greatly by impressionists very evident.
The images above (numbered by order in the rollover captions) represent a grouping of figure, light, and compositional studies for the painting, Morning Sun. The completed oil painting is one of Hopper’s most admired pieces.
Hopper struggled to gain recognition and acclaim in the art world, after traveling for several years and returning to New York, he made very few sales and had trouble exhibiting in galleries. He made a big break when he was invited to have a solo exhibition when he was 37 years old. He didn’t sell any pieces at this show, however it was a major turning point in his career. Possibly his most sought after paintings, House by the Railroad, was the first of his pieces to be collected by the Museum of Modern Art (pictured left).
The painting shown above is an example of Hopper’s combination of light and figure, and how it relates to architecture. Through his explorations of these three key subjects, he blended them together in a way that was so balanced that he is known for all three topics.
“Great art is the outward expression of an inner life of the artist, and this innerlife will result in his personal vision of the world.” – Edward Hopper