Ground Swell (1939) by Edward Hopper

Ground Swell - Edward Hopper - 1939

Artwork Information

TitleGround Swell
ArtistEdward Hopper
Dimensions91.92 x 127.16 cm
Art MovementSocial Realism
Current LocationCorcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, US

About Ground Swell

Edward Hopper’s “Ground Swell” is an oil on canvas artwork created in 1939, measuring 91.92 by 127.16 cm. The painting is an exemplar of the Social Realism art movement and belongs to the genre of marina. It depicts a maritime scene and is housed at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, United States.

The artwork portrays a group of individuals on a sailboat, riding a rolling wave of the sea. The composition captures the essence of a clear day with a dynamic sky filled with cumulus clouds that seem to echo the swell below. The sails are filled with wind, and one of the passengers stands at the bow, peering over the horizon. The light and shadow are masterfully rendered to convey the intensity of the sunlight and the translucence of the ocean.

In addition to the humans, a buoy with a bell is visible on the left side of the canvas, further accentuating the nautical theme and adding to the sense of location and possible navigation concerns. The colors used by Hopper are vivid yet natural, helping to create a scene that is both serene and full of latent energy, as if capturing a moment of calm before the potential of changing weather. The artwork immortalizes a timeless interaction between humans and the vast power of the sea.

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