Edward Hopper (1882-1967)
Oil on canvas
Overall: 25 3/8 × 20 3/8 in. (64.5 × 51.8 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Josephine N. Hopper Bequest
Rights and Reproductions Information
© Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art
Although Edward Hopper drew and painted numerous self-portraits in his early years as an artist, this is one of the few he completed during the mature phase of his career. Around 1918, Hopper made an etching in which he portrayed himself wearing a hat. In Self-Portrait, he preserves the pose of this earlier image, while his mature and thoughtful appearance suggests the effects of time’s passage. Dressed in suit and tie, Hopper gives no indication of his profession; indeed, he appears as the antithesis of the stereotypical bohemian artist. Though the interior space Hopper occupies is nondescript, his hat suggests a moment of transition—that he is on his way somewhere else. Like so many of the people he portrayed on trains, and in hotels and waiting rooms, Hopper is captured in a contemplative moment, engaged in a scene that hints at narrative possibilities but remains mysterious.