The original was created using oil on canvas.
American Realist artist Edward Hopper was known to take months contemplating his scenes of New England towns and New York architecture, and he seemingly made depicting solitude his life’s work. It is no surprise then that at the onset of Covid-19, Hopper’s images of isolation flooded social media while the world sheltered in place.
The view in Rooms by the Sea resembles what Hopper would have seen out the back door of his studio in Cape Cod. Cropped, much like a photograph, Hopper characteristically employs clearly outlined forms and sharply defined lighting to convey a sense of seclusion and contemplation. Unlike a photograph, however, the light pouring into the room is not just a vision of what Hopper saw before him, but a reflection of the artist himself.
Hopper acknowledged that the process of painting was difficult for him, and he painted at a very slow pace. At the peak of his career, he would only paint two or three paintings a year. Before paint ever touched canvas, he would spend a significant amount of time considering his subject and drawing preliminary sketches.
As you find yourself in isolation, what do you see outside your windows? Look intently. Do you see a reflection of yourself in the world outside?
*realism – In its specific sense, realism refers to a mid-nineteenth century artistic movement characterized by subjects painted from everyday life in a naturalistic manner; however, the term is also generally used to describe artworks painted in a realistic almost photographic way.
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-Johnny DePalma, Owner / Curator
-Janelle Graves, Art Historian / Museum Educator