Edward Hopper: House by the Railroad c. 1925

Edward Hopper was an American painter whose highly individualistic works are landmarks of American realism. His paintings embody in art a particular American 20th-century sensibility that is characterized by isolation, melancholy, and loneliness.

His early paintings, were committed to realism and exhibited some of the basic characteristics that he was to retain throughout his career: compositional style based on simple, large geometric forms; flat masses of color; and the use of architectural elements in his scenes for their strong verticals, horizontals, and diagonals. Unlike many of his contemporaries who imitated the abstract cubist experiments, Hopper was attracted to realist art.

Hopper rejected European influences, maintaining that American art should capture the character of the nation.

In 1925, he painted House by the Railroad (which is presently displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City), a landmark in American art that marked the advent of his mature style.

The emphasis on blunt shapes and angles and the stark play of light and shadow were in keeping with his earlier work, but the mood—which was the real subject of the painting—was new: It conveyed an atmosphere of all-embracing loneliness and almost eerie solitude.

House by the Railroad by Edward Hopper c. 1925

The painting expresses Edward Hopper’s central theme: the alienation of modern life. Hopper’s House by the Railroad is symbolic of the loss that is felt when modern progress leaves an agrarian society behind. From our curiously low viewpoint, the track appears to slice through the lower edge of the structure—or, to regard it in a different way, to become part of the house itself, a new foundation for American life. An enduring sign of progress, the railroad was the primary agent of industrial change.

Although railroad tracks are typically associated with the noise, speed, and rapid change of modern life, this scene is curiously still and silent, as if the rush of industrialization has passed it by.

March 29, 2011 PowerPoint Edward Hopper House by the Railroad

Continue reading Washington Irving’s book, Up From Slavery.  –Mrs. S

“God’s designs regarding you and His methods of bringing about these designs are infinitely wise.”  – Madame Guyon

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”  Proverbs 3: 5-6

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