In this work, Edward Hopper isolates the dramatic silhouette of a lighthouse against an open expanse of blue sky. Located on a rocky promontory in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, the architecture is bathed in bright sunlight offset by dark shadows.
Standing proudly upright and seen from below, the Two Lights lighthouse seems to symbolize a resolute resistance, even a refusal, to submit to change or to nature. See more
For Hopper, who had been summering in Maine since 1914, the lighthouse also represented a pleasant respite from life in New York.
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.