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Edward Hopper (1882-1967)
Sheet (Irregular): 13 3/8 × 18 1/4 in. (34 × 46.4 cm) Plate: 7 5/16 × 12 5/16 in. (18.6 × 31.3 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase
Rights and Reproductions Information
© Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art
American Landscape belongs to a series of etchings that Edward Hopper began to produce in 1915. After having little early success as a painter, he decided to take up printmaking. Hopper’s etchings launched the artist’s mature style and garnered his first critical acclaim. He had sketched trains regularly as a child, and his frequent depictions of railroad tracks as seen from below, or from afar, emphasized their disruption of pastoral landscapes. Here, a succession of cows lumber across the tracks that bisect the scene, their ungainly haunches providing the viewer with a humorous entry point into the picture. Hopper’s richly-etched tonalities and spare composition anticipate the poignant isolation that would underlie much of his subsequent work. A feeling of quietude pervades, as if the rural environment—represented here by livestock and a gabled clapboard farmhouse—has been passed by.