The Barber Shop (1931) by Edward Hopper

The Barber Shop - Edward Hopper - 1931

Artwork Information

TitleThe Barber Shop
ArtistEdward Hopper
Dimensions198.12 x 152.4 cm
Art MovementSocial Realism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Barber Shop

The artwork entitled “The Barber Shop” is a creation of artist Edward Hopper, dating back to 1931. This oil on canvas piece falls within the Social Realism art movement. The genre painting measures 198.12 cm by 152.4 cm and, as of the current information available, is housed within a private collection.

The artwork captures an ordinary moment within an American barbershop, rendered in Hopper’s characteristic style that often depicts slices of everyday life with a poignant sense of realism and isolation. The scene is spatially divided by a sharp contrast of light and shadow, contributing to the composition’s quiet drama.

Two figures occupy the setting: a woman on the left, who appears absorbed in reading a book placed on a small table before her, and a barber on the right, engaged in the meticulous work of cutting a man’s hair. The barber shop’s environment is discernible through a few carefully selected details such as the barber’s pole outside, a spiral staircase on the left, and the sparse furnishings typical of a functional, modest establishment.

In observation of the formal elements, Hopper employs a restrained palette with a focus on muted tones and stark lighting. This choice of lighting accentuates the volumes and the sculptural quality of the subjects, while also casting deep shadows that give shape to the surrounding space. The interaction of figures and their environs is a testament to Hopper’s interest in the stillness and solitude that can be found within the most mundane settings.

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