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 Edward Hopper. Nighthawks. (1942).

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Edward Hopper. (1882 – 1967). Nighthawks. (1942).

The scene is held in a restoring bar of downtown area, late in the night. It’s not only the most famous painting of Hopper, but also one of most outstanding of American art. The picture would have been inspired in Hopper by a news of Hemingway published in 1927 and entitled The Killers, in which two killers await their victim, a former boxer, in vain, in a bar. The restaurant exists in New York, Greenwich Avenue and Hopper often attended it. A strong tension emerges from the picture, the expressions and the fixed postures can let predict the course of a drama. Film enthusiast, the artist nourished films of the Hollywood golden age of the years 1930 and 1940. What characterizes this painting, it is the narration. When Robert Siodmak adapts the killers to the screen in 1946, it will be inspired in its turn by this painting for the sequence by opening. Questioned on the direction which one could give to his works, Hopper, during an interview given to an American radio in 1961, refused to see there the expression of a " unspecified American mentality ", still adding that was to the witness to draw his own interpretation from it.

The point of view of the witness is located at the level of the characters.

The angle of the street is located on the left tension field between 2 natural points of interest. 3 characters are on the right tension field meadows of 3 natural points of interest. A character is centered. 

The clear zones and the dark zones are delimited perfectly.

The large rising diagonal of left on the right isolates the characters from the remainder decorations and the street. 

Details : 

A couple or a man approaching a woman ? Like says it Hopper to each one to make his interpretation… 

Alone, invisible of back, this character is the most worrying .

The waiter seems occupied behind its counter and at the same time it speaks with the couple on its line.

Light : The light comes from the restaurant. It comes from the top. It is reflected towards outside and lights the street. 

Colors : Harmonize between hot colors.

Similar Paintings : 

Edward Hopper. House by the Railroad. (1847). 

Edward Hopper. Sumer Evening. 

Edward Hopper. Gloucester Harbour. (1926).