Baptistry of St. John’s (1929) by Edward Hopper

Baptistry of St. John's - Edward Hopper - 1929

Artwork Information

TitleBaptistry of St. John's
ArtistEdward Hopper
Date1929
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
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About Baptistry of St. John's

The artwork titled “Baptistry of St. John’s” was crafted by the notable artist Edward Hopper in the year 1929. It is an exemplar of the New Realism movement. The genre of this piece is categorized as an interior, and it currently resides within a private collection.

The artwork exhibits a profound tranquility and a mastery of light and shadow that Edward Hopper is often celebrated for. The scene unfolds within an ecclesiastical interior, which one might surmise to be the baptistry from the title. The composition is structured around a series of vertical and horizontal lines creating a sense of order and solemnity. A central white balustrade, adorned with contrasting dark, intricate ironwork, divides the space, while an ornamental, vase-like structure capped with a symbolic object crowns the railing. Adjacent to this central element is a sculptural representation of a dove, which may imply themes of peace or the Holy Spirit, considering the setting.

The towering columns suggest a grandeur and sturdiness, characterized by their earthy tones and subtle lighting, which extends the feeling of solemnity throughout the artwork. The back of the room is lined with wooden pews receding into the shadows, where the precision of Hopper’s brushwork brings forth the texture and grain of the wood. The floor pattern, discernible in the foreground, adds further depth to the scene and demonstrates the artist’s attention to detail. The play of light and shadow is masterfully handled, conveying the quiet and contemplative atmosphere of the sanctified space. This serene and meditative quality is emblematic of Hopper’s style, which often captures the essence of stillness and introspection within American settings.

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