Squam Light (1912) by Edward Hopper

Squam Light - Edward Hopper - 1912

Artwork Information

TitleSquam Light
ArtistEdward Hopper
Date1912
Mediumoil,canvas
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationPrivate Collection
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About Squam Light

“Squam Light” is a landscape painting by Edward Hopper, dated 1912. It is executed in oil on canvas and exemplifies the New Realism movement. The artwork is not on public display as it is part of a private collection.

The artwork portrays a scene with strong elements of light and shadow, capturing the essential qualities of a coastal vista. In the foreground, one observes undulating terrain, punctuated by rocks and a curving path or road. The color palette in this area is muted, featuring earth tones that suggest a rugged, natural setting.

Rising above this landscape is the focal point of the piece: a traditional lighthouse with an attached house. The structures are depicted in a simplified form, with minimal detailing that emphasizes their geometric shapes and the play of light upon their surfaces. The lighthouse casts a stark white silhouette against the sky, whilst its top, presumably the beacon housing, is rendered with a touch of yellow, indicating its function as a guiding light.

The sky above is painted with gentle brush strokes, hinting at a softly clouded sky with patches of blue and hints of an impending or receding soft light, possibly of early dawn or dusk. The artwork’s composition, with its clear horizon line and the manner in which the structures are arranged upon the hill, conveys a sense of isolation and stillness, hallmarks of Hopper’s oeuvre that often reflect on themes of solitude and the inherent beauty of ordinary scenes.

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