Cape Cod Evening (1939) by Edward Hopper

Cape Cod Evening - Edward Hopper - 1939

Artwork Information

TitleCape Cod Evening
ArtistEdward Hopper
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions76.2 x 101.6 cm
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

About Cape Cod Evening

Edward Hopper’s “Cape Cod Evening” is a quintessential work of New Realism, rendered in oil on canvas in 1939. With dimensions of 76.2 x 101.6 cm, this figurative piece forms part of the artist’s ‘Couple’ paintings series. Exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the artwork stands as a telling example of Hopper’s detailed exploration of American life and environments.

The artwork unfolds a tranquil yet somewhat enigmatic evening scene on the coast of Cape Cod. Two figures, a man and a woman, are featured in proximity to a white, Victorian-style house, which stands prominently against a backdrop of dense, dark trees. The woman leans against the house’s corner, gazing distantly across the property, her posture reflecting a sense of introspection or detachment. The man, seated on the ground, appears absorbed in a task at his feet, further contributing to the pervasive atmosphere of solitude despite their closeness. A collie dog lies in the foreground, connecting with neither the humans nor their activities, reinforcing the theme of isolation.

Hopper’s careful use of light and shadow accentuates the stillness of the scene and the passage of time. The golden hue of the grass, the stark white of the house, and the deep greens of the woodsy backdrop collaborate to create a scene that is simultaneously mundane and profound, a hallmark of Hopper’s style. The empty spaces, the direction of gazes, and the positioning of the figures invite reflections on the nature of human relationships and the quiet moments of everyday life.

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