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Edward Hopper

Railroad Sunset

1929

On View

Floor 7

Robert W. Wilson Galleries

Artist

Edward Hopper (1882-1967)

Title

Railroad Sunset

Date

1929

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Overall: 29 5/16 × 48 1/8 in. (74.5 × 122.2 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Josephine N. Hopper Bequest

Accession number

70.1170

Object Label

In Edward Hopper’s painting Railroad Sunset, a signal tower stands starkly against undulating green hills and the spectacular colors of sunset. Since his childhood, Hopper had been fascinated by trains, and after his marriage to Josephine Nivison Hopper, the couple embarked on their first transcontinental train trip, travelling to Colorado and New Mexico. The year that he painted this scene, Hopper and his wife travelled from New York to Charleston, South Carolina, as well as to Massachusetts and Maine. But rather than depicting the places they visited, Hopper here presents the lonely landscape in between, with the railroad tracks slicing through the countryside parallel to the picture plane—as if glimpsed from the window of a passing train. As was his frequent practice, Hopper painted the scene once he had returned to his New York studio, creating an image that is not an exact record of a specific place, but instead fuses his memories with imaginary details.

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