Night on the El Train (1918) by Edward Hopper

Night on the El Train - Edward Hopper - 1918

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Artwork Information

TitleNight on the El Train
ArtistEdward Hopper
Dimensions72.39 x 59.31 cm
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationArt Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, US

About Night on the El Train

“Night on the El Train” is an etching by Edward Hopper, created in the year 1918. This artwork, measuring 72.39 x 59.31 cm, exemplifies Hopper’s involvement with the New Realism movement. As a genre painting, it captures a slice of everyday life and is housed at the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

The artwork depicts a scene on an elevated train, commonly known as the “El Train”. It portrays a man and a woman sitting closely together, suggesting an intimate or contemplative moment. Their faces are cast in shadow, adding a sense of mystery to their relationship and emotions. The passengers are enclosed within the tight, geometrical confines of the train car, which is rendered with meticulous detail in Hopper’s distinctive etching style. The windows of the train show the darkness outside, contrasting with the interior scene and conveying the sense of a private, enclosed space. The technique used by Hopper involves strong lines and contrasts, capturing the play of light and shadow that is characteristic of etching as a medium. This stark use of light and shadow hints at deeper psychological undertones and reflects the sense of isolation and introspection that is often found in Hopper’s work.

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