Cobbs Barns and Distant Houses (c.1930) by Edward Hopper

Cobbs Barns and Distant Houses - Edward Hopper - c.1930

Artwork Information

TitleCobbs Barns and Distant Houses
ArtistEdward Hopper
Art MovementNew Realism

About Cobbs Barns and Distant Houses

The artwork entitled “Cobbs Barns and Distant Houses” was created by Edward Hopper circa 1930, reflecting the New Realism art movement. As a landscape genre painting, it captures the stillness and open expanses that often characterize rural American settings, which is a common subject in Hopper’s body of work.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with a serene, pastoral scene predominantly featuring two barns in the foreground with a vivid contrast of colors. The barn closest to the viewer is deep red with darker shading, which immediately draws the eye due to its hue and size. The second barn, partially obscured by the first, sports a muted gray roof, with one side bathed in light, providing a sense of the time of day through the depiction of natural light and shadow. Behind these structures, the painting extends into a rolling landscape of fields that are rendered in a palette of ochres and greens, suggesting the richness of cultivated land. Further in the distance, a cluster of white houses with dark roofs punctuates the horizon, creating a focal point that contrasts sharply with the earthy tones of the surrounding fields. These houses seem to symbolize human habitation within the vastness of nature.

Hopper’s technique uses defined brushstrokes to shape the form and texture of the landscape, while the interplay of light and shadow creates a sense of depth and volume in the composition. The sky occupies only a small portion of the canvas, a pale blue gradient that offers a sense of the expansive overhead space and complements the warm ground colors. The mood of the artwork is one of solace and tranquility, with no visible human figures or movement to disturb the stillness of the rural landscape. Overall, “Cobbs Barns and Distant Houses” is illustrative of Hopper’s talent in capturing the quiet and sometimes solitary essence of American locales.

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