Hopper began painting the effects of sunlight as a young art student in Paris, and this interest continued throughout his career. As a mature artist, Edward Hopper lived and worked in New York and spent most summers on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He designed and built a sunny, secluded studio in Truro, on the bluff overlooking the ocean. This painting is based on the view from the back door of the studio. See more
While the view of the studio suggested the composition of Rooms by the Sea, the image is more an evocative metaphor for silence and solitude than a transcription of an actual scene.
Hopper had a way of communicating his inner life...his feelings of despair and desolation, as well as his sense of beauty...by finding them in the buildings and objects he painted. He filled the empty rooms with the mystery of existence and his own spirit. In fact, like Van Gogh, he not only painted the objects themselves, but literally transformed them into self-portraits.
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.