Edward Hoppers Nighthawks

Topics: Nighthawks, Edward Hopper, Art Institute of Chicago Pages: 3 (1125 words) Published: October 5, 2011
When I first glanced at Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, I was thirteen years old and I was on a trip to The Institute of Art Chicago with my family. I was so intrigued by the painting that I took all the money I was given for the weekend and bought a reprint from the museum’s gift shop. The painting hangs on my wall in my house and has been on every wall in every home I’ve lived since I was thirteen. The meaning of the painting has changed for me over the years as I have matured and learned more about society, history, and people in general. At first glance I thought the painting was different, it didn’t look like all the other pieces of art in the museum. It was dark and daunting and there was just something about it that gave me chills down my spine. As I got older, I realized that it was absolutely beautiful and a completely realistic depiction of loneliness even when you aren’t really alone. The title, Nighthawks, seems just right for the painting. The name fits perfectly with the scene, showing the reader the true emptiness in the night, when the sun has gone to sleep. There is a pervading sense of loneliness and introspection in this painting that you feel that you can almost relate to (Hopper, 1942). Nighthawks is an oil and canvas painting and is one of Hopper’s most popular and recognizable pieces of art (Pressley). The technique used gives the picture a very realistic and recognizable look. All the subjects are focused on equally, each one taking on its own role. The beautiful auburn haired, porcelain skinned woman, draped in a striking red dress, sits on the brown swinging stool with a look of sadness and withdrawal in her eyes. Completely oblivious to her surrounding, acting as if she may be upset with the man next to her. Perhaps they are in a relationship and have just had a fight, or something disconcerting just happened in their lives. The man next to her is dressed in a black suit and with an old fedora hat on. He looks as if he has spent a long day...
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