Le Quai des Grands Augustins (1909) by Edward Hopper

Le Quai des Grands Augustins - Edward Hopper - 1909

Artwork Information

TitleLe Quai des Grands Augustins
ArtistEdward Hopper
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY, US

About Le Quai des Grands Augustins

“Le Quai des Grands Augustins” is a significant artwork by Edward Hopper, completed in 1909. This oil on canvas cityscape is aligned with the tenets of New Realism, exhibiting Hopper’s quintessential focus on the commonplace urban environment. The artwork resides in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art located in New York City, NY, US, offering visitors a glimpse into Hopper’s early interpretation of metropolitan life.

The artwork presents a sweeping view of a city quay, a street running parallel to a body of water, which is presumably the Seine River in Paris, given the title’s reference to the Quai des Grands Augustins. The scene captures the essence of the urban landscape, with a series of buildings standing tall against a bright sky. Hopper’s use of light and shadow gives a sense of solidity to the structures, while also creating an atmosphere that hints at the transient nature of the city.

Foregrounded in the composition is a curving road, leading the viewer’s eye towards the distant bridge and buildings, suggesting depth and perspective. The color palette is reflective of a day with clear skies, where sunlight illuminates the facades and rooftops of the depicted structures. Hopper’s brushwork appears to be quick and expressive, contributing to a sense of immediacy and liveliness within the otherwise static architecture.

Notably absent is the busy human activity that might be expected in such a public space, a feature that would become characteristic of Hopper’s more mature work, often infused with a sense of solitude and introspection. In “Le Quai des Grands Augustins,” the focus remains squarely on the architectural elements and the ambience they create, making this early piece an important precursor to the themes and techniques that Hopper would go on to master.

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