In this work, the viewer catches an unknown individual in the most intimate of moments. In an everyday scene that takes on a dramatic and mysterious quality in the hands of Edward Hopper, a naked woman kneels at the edge of a bed. Her face is veiled by her long hair as she turns her head towards the window in surprise or fear in response to the sudden movement of the open window curtain. See more
Hopper has included very little detail in the interior of the room, so that the scene remains universal in its emotional impact. His printmaking technique creates a marked contrast between the darkness of the heavily hatched background and the blank white paper of the space outside the window. The space of the scene is so shallow that the viewer feels physically close to the woman, as if he or she is present in the room with her.
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.