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Edward Hopper was twenty-one years old when he sketched this quietly confident self-portrait. As a student at the prestigious New York School of Art, Hopper won prizes in drawing and oil painting. A classmate recalls that he produced "brilliant" drawings at an impressive speed. This quick sketch reveals the influence of Hopper's teacher, Robert Henri, in its informal pose and strong, loose charcoal lines. See more
Hopper is dressed in a jacket and turtleneck jumper.
These jumpers were popular for men's outdoor sports, particularly football and cycling. Partly because of his choice of clothing, Hopper portrays himself as young, unpretentious and modern. Although two decades passed before he became known for his strangely mysterious realist painting, this drawing shows a modern sensibility to the medium and self-representation.
In 1935, Hopper remarked: 'In the development of any artist, the germ of the later work is always to be found in the earlier work. ... What it once was, it still is, with slight modifications.
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.