People in the Sun (1960) by Edward Hopper

People in the Sun - Edward Hopper - 1960

Artwork Information

TitlePeople in the Sun
ArtistEdward Hopper
Date1960
Mediumoil,canvas
Dimensions152.78 x 101.98 cm
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationSmithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, US
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About People in the Sun

Edward Hopper’s “People in the Sun” is a genre painting created in 1960 using oil on canvas. Measuring 152.78 by 101.98 cm, this artwork reflects the New Realism movement and is currently housed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. The piece portrays five individuals seated outdoors in what appears to be a line of deck chairs, facing the sun. They are positioned against a backdrop of an expansive, open landscape with distant mountains, under a broad, clear sky.

The figures are rendered in a static, almost staged manner, typical of Hopper’s exploration of modern American life and isolation. While they are situated together, each person appears absorbed in their own experience. The first figure, a man, is seen reading, whereas the other four are tilted back, seemingly basking in the sunlight. Their faces, mostly turned away or obscured, add to the sense of detachment between them and from the viewer. The colors are stark, with a strong contrast between the light striking the figures and the shadowed parts, reinforcing the intensity of the sunlight and the stillness of the scene. Hopper’s use of light and architectural elements to frame the human conditions of solitude and introspection is evident in this work.

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