Bridle Path (1939) by Edward Hopper

Bridle Path - Edward Hopper - 1939

Artwork Information

TitleBridle Path
ArtistEdward Hopper
Date1939
Mediumoil,canvas
Dimensions107 x 72 cm
Art MovementSocial Realism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
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About Bridle Path

The artwork entitled “Bridle Path” was created by the esteemed artist Edward Hopper in 1939. This oil on canvas painting measures 107 by 72 centimeters and is housed within a private collection. “Bridle Path” is an exemplar of genre painting and aligns with the Social Realism art movement, which sought to portray the everyday life of people and societal conditions with a critical perspective on social issues and injustices.

The artwork depicts a serene yet animated scene set against an urban backdrop, where three individuals on horseback are navigating a path by an overpass. The lead rider, clad in bright riding attire, guides a chestnut horse, while the following equestrians, also dressed in traditional riding clothes, appear in the midst of conversation. The horses are rendered with attentive care, showcasing their muscular forms and the nuanced reflections of light on their coats. The stark contrast between the natural grace of the horses and the engineered stones of the underpass creates a juxtaposition that alludes to the encroachment of urban development into natural spaces.

Hopper’s masterful use of light and shadow is evident in the way he articulates the different surfaces and textures within the painting—the roughness of the rocky outcrops, the smoothness of the horses, and the well-worn path. This contrast is further heightened by the architectural elements, which suggest the proximity of an urban environment extending into the scene. Despite the presence of human figures and animals, there is a palpable sense of solitude and quietness, often a characteristic in Hopper’s work, providing a subtle commentary on the nature of modern life and its impact on individuality and the environment.

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