In 1939, Edward Hopper painted Cape Cod Evening in Truro, Massachusetts. The painting is a reflection of the loss of viable rural America and focuses on people and places left behind by progress. It is not a transcription of a specific place but is pieced together from sketches and mental impressions.
The painting depicts a dry, blowing grass landscape with an atmosphere of late summer or autumn. It belongs to the Couple painting series in the New Realism style. Cape Cod Evening currently resides at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., US, where it was part of an exhibition display showcasing Hopper’s works.
Hopper was passionate about nautical subjects and seascapes as we can see in his other works like Ground Swell. Cape Cod Evening depicts a young Swedish man and a dour Finn woman with their dog while listening to the whippoorwill’s song. There are study sketches of this artwork available done with both chalk and graphite pencil.
Overall, Cape Cod Evening serves as an important representative piece for its era based on its focus on rural America’s decline due to modernization’s interference with traditional lifestyles. The compelling combination between its simplicity—common themes unique to America—and artistic skill make this artwork one that should be admired by all art enthusiasts across generations for years to come.