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Edward Hopper

A Woman in the Sun



Edward Hopper (1882-1967)


A Woman in the Sun




Oil on linen


Overall: 40 1/8 × 60 3/16 in. (101.9 × 152.9 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; 50th Anniversary Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hackett in honor of Edith and Lloyd Goodrich

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As Edward Hopper matured he left more and more visual detail out of his paintings and focused on the psychological reality of his subjects. In A Woman in the Sun, a nude female stands in a shaft of raking light from a nearby window. The room has been reduced to its simplest architectural components. The few judicious details that remain—a pair of black pumps, the turned wood bedposts, and the vaguely delineated painting on the wall—only accentuate the barrenness of the scene and the figure. The voyeuristic, almost cinematic setting suggests a narrative, enticing the viewer to imagine the events that may have occurred prior to the scene we now view, and what will happen next. Hopper’s wife, Josephine Nivison Hopper, served as the model for this figure as she did for many of the women who appeared in his paintings. She was seventy-eight at the time of this painting, but Hopper transformed her, like the rest of the scene, according to his own internal vision rather than faithfully adhering to realistic detail.

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