American Landscape belongs to a series of prints that Edward Hopper began making in 1915. After little success as a painter, he decided to take up printmaking.
Edward Hopper's prints launched the artist's mature style and earned him his first critical acclaim. As a child, he regularly drew trains, and his frequent depictions of railway tracks seen from below or from afar emphasize their disruption of pastoral landscapes. See more
Here, a succession of cows cross the tracks that divide the scene in two, their ungainly hips offering the viewer a humorous entry point into the painting. Hopper's richly etched tones and spare composition foreshadow the poignant isolation that would underlie much of his later work. A sense of quietude emerges, as if the rural environment - represented here by cattle and a gabled shingle farmhouse - had passed by.
Edward Hopper is one of the major figures of the American realist movement, with paintings such as House by the Railroad (1925) and Nighthawks (1942).
Born in 1882 in New York State, Edward Hopper entered the prestigious New York School of Art after his secondary education. He moved to New York in 1908 where he was hired as an illustrator for advertising campaigns. He soon tired of the job and exhibited paintings in his spare time. See more
Around 1915, he painted scenes of American life and in 1920, he presented his first exhibition at the Whitney Studio Club, which was a great success. In 1924 he married Josephine Verstille Nivison.
His particular style, made of simple forms and rather dark colours, plays on the contrasts between light and shadow. Hopper managed to diversify his realistic approach, with staged landscapes, sometimes urban and sometimes rural. The characters he paints often inspire an impression of solitude and exclusion. Most of his oil paintings reflect a country in the throes of economic and social change. In 1945, Edward Hopper was admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He received numerous awards and honours, including the title of Doctor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1955.