Edward Hopper was born along the lower Hudson River, New York in 1882. After studying painting in New York, Hopper spent several years in Europe. Hopper was as student of, and heavily influenced by, Robert Henri (founder of the renowned Ash Can School), and his social realism. Hopper’s early work shows his love of architecture as a vehicle for expressing shadow, light and colour. His works depict lonely figures, and vacant urban and seashore scenes that evoke a sense of melancholy. Hopper’s fascination with the sea provided a subject on which he based many works. In 1921, Hopper's paintings caught the attention of leading critics and dealers and he soon became America's foremost Realist. His canvases confront the viewer with images of isolation, alienation and loneliness of every day life. By using contrasting areas of light and warmth, Hopper places the viewer in a calm and tranquil stance. Hopper's authentic portrayals of the American landscape have become icons of American culture. One of his best-known works, Nighthawks, is an American classic.
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