1960 oil on canvas. It was purchased with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art for the Whitney Museum in New York.
Max Anderson wrote: “At first glance, this painting by Edward Hopper looks like a scene you might come across in real life. Look a little closer. Something feels not-quite-right. The house is shown at a strange angle, with the lower story cut off by the bottom of the canvas. The trees behind the house aren’t completely in focus — Hopper has given us just a suggestion of a dark, kind of menacing forest. And what’s the relationship between the two figures on the balcony? They look as if they’re barely engaged with one another; a lonely emptiness fills the space between them.
“Josephine Nivison Hopper, the artist’ wife, was the model for both figures, as she was for virtually all his images of women. This isn’t a casually observed scene from everyday life after all; Hopper carefully constructed every element to create a particular mood.
“The Whitney Museum was the first museum to collect his work, and it’s now the home of the artist’s estate. Hopper’s paintings are distinctively American — you’d never mistake this for a scene of the French countryside. What makes Hopper so special is that while he paints subjects many artist shave depicted—landscapes, figures — his work transcends a specific place and time. It captures a sense of the pathos of America.”
See below for more about Edward Hopper‘s life and work. To view a larger image of Second Story Sunlight click on the thumbnail image below. Second Story Sunlight prints are for sale from AllPosters, one of the largest and most reputable online poster stores. They have a great selection, good customer service, and you can’t usually find lower prices. (But if you have time and prefer to shop around, you can click here to compare poster stores.)
Robert Hughes, the author of American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America, has written that “Edward Hopper was the quintessential realist painter of twentieth-century America.” The American public agrees with the art experts when it comes to Hopper. His work is extremely popular.
Edward Hopper did not achieve artistic acclaim easily. He was born in Nyack, New York, in 1882. He studied at the New York School of Illustrating, and later at the more prestigious New York School of Art. Here he studied under American realist Robert Henri. After his studies at the NY School of Art, Edward Hopper went to Europe to study in Paris. This was 1906, at a key time in the development of modern art.
Hopper struggled for years. He paid the bills working as a commercial illustrator. His first creative success as a painter came in 1924 when he sold out a show at the Rehn Gallery in New York. This is the year he painted The House by the Railroad. He went on to create many other well-known works of art, including: The Bootleggers (1925), Drug Store (1927), Lighthouse Hill (1927), Chop Suey (1929), Coast Guard Station (1929), Lighthouse at Two Lights (1929), Room in Brooklyn (1932), Room in New York (1932), The Long Leg (1935), Yawl Riding a Swell (1935), Ground Swell (1939), New York Movie (1939), Gas (1940), Route 6 Eastham (1941), Nighthawks (1942), Martha McKeen of Wellfleet (1944), Approaching a City (1946), High Noon (1949), Seven A.M. (1949), Cape Cod Morning (1950), Rooms by the Sea (1951), Carolina Morning (1955), People in the Sun (1960), Second Story Sunlight (1960).
In the same year that his career first took off, 1924, Edward Hopper married Josephine Verstille Nivison. “Jo” modeled for many of Edward’s paintings in the following years.
In 1967, Edward Hopper passed away, leaving us a wonderful legacy of fine art. His subject matter ranges from diners and restaurants, to rooms and houses, to women and other people. He painted cityscapes in New York, and many roads, lighthouses, sailboats, and other images of the sea from his summers in New England.