Soir Bleu (1914) by Edward Hopper

Soir Bleu - Edward Hopper - 1914

Artwork Information

TitleSoir Bleu
ArtistEdward Hopper
Date1914
Mediumoil,canvas
Dimensions182.88 x 91.44 cm
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NY, US
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About Soir Bleu

The artwork “Soir Bleu” by Edward Hopper, created in 1914, is an oil on canvas piece embodying the New Realism art movement. Measuring approximately 182.88 by 91.44 cm, this genre painting is part of the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art located in New York City, New York, United States. The painting captures a snapshot of diverse individuals gathered at an evening social setting, reflecting Hopper’s interest in depicting modern American life.

In “Soir Bleu,” the scene is set on what appears to be the terrace of a café or restaurant. A dominant deep blue hue imbues the artwork with a muted evening atmosphere. Central to the composition is a figure of a clown in full white costume and makeup, smoking a cigarette. The clown’s presence, offset with a colorful red nose and lips, provides a sharp contrast to the other figures and the overall sedate palette of the scene. To the clown’s left is a woman standing solemnly with hands behind her back, donning a green dress with white and red accents, gazing directly out of the canvas as though observing the viewer. This figure’s inclusion adds a compelling focal point amidst the various patrons who populate the space.

The other individuals are engaged in mundane activities, such as smoking and conversing. The diners are dressed in contemporary attire for the time, suggesting a variety of social statuses and personal narratives within the shared public space. The brushwork, while maintaining form and structure, exhibits a sense of looseness that adds to the atmospheric quality of the evening.

The painting’s composition is divided by a post that vertically bisects the canvas, perhaps symbolizing a separation between the viewer and the scene or between the figures themselves. The juxtaposition and interaction—or lack thereof—between the characters in the scene are indicative of Hopper’s exploration of isolation and the complexity of human experiences within the urban landscape. “Soir Bleu” thus offers a rich tableau for contemplation of the intricate layers of individual stories within the shared frame of social space.

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