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Edward Hopper (1882-1967)
Sheet (irregular): 13 5/16 × 14 1/2 in. (33.8 × 36.8 cm) Plate: 6 7/8 × 8 1/4 in. (17.5 × 21 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
From 1915 to 1923, Edward Hopper concentrated on printmaking, producing etchings and drypoints while also supporting himself as a commercial artist and illustrator. Although Hopper was still relatively unknown as a painter during this period, his prints began to earn him recognition. In this nocturnal scene, Night Shadows, he uses linear strokes of etched line to portray a patch of raking light on an otherwise dark, nearly empty street. With its unusual vantage point suggesting a view out of an upper-story window, the composition emphasizes the vulnerability of the lone passerby and assumes a voyeuristic, even ominous tone. Like many of Hopper’s works, Night Shadows presents modern life as pervaded by a sense of solitude and alienation.