High Noon (1949) by Edward Hopper

High Noon - Edward Hopper - 1949

Artwork Information

TitleHigh Noon
ArtistEdward Hopper
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationDayton Art Institute (DAI), Dayton, OH, US

About High Noon

“High Noon” is an evocative artwork by the esteemed artist Edward Hopper, created in 1949. This oil on canvas reflects the aesthetic of New Realism, a movement in which artists depicted everyday scenes with a sense of clarity and stark realism. The genre of the artwork is cityscape, although the depiction is more suburban or rural in character. This painting is part of the collection at the Dayton Art Institute (DAI) in Dayton, Ohio, United States, where it remains accessible to the public for viewing and appreciation.

The artwork presents a strikingly simple yet poignant scene: a white, wooden house under the harsh light of the midday sun, which the title “High Noon” aptly suggests. The house’s stark white siding contrasts sharply with the deep blue of the sky and the darker roof shingles, as well as the red earth at the base—a color palette that emphasizes the intensity and isolation of the setting. The sunlight casts distinct shadows that add to the play of light and shade across the structure’s facade.

A notable feature of the artwork is a woman standing in the doorway, which invites speculation about her narrative. Hopper often included figures that seem lost in contemplation, adding a layer of psychological depth to his works, and ‘High Noon’ is no exception. Her presence brings a human element to the scene, creating a dynamic between the environment and the individual.

The quietude and desolation conveyed by the artwork resonate with the viewer, providing a sense of stillness that is characteristic of Hopper’s work. There is also an air of mystery about the scene, as if the viewer has stumbled upon a private moment. The geometric simplicity of the composition, combined with the emotional complexity, makes “High Noon” emblematic of Hopper’s ability to transform the mundane into something profound and universally resonant.

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