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Edward Hopper

(American, 1882–1967)

Monhegan Landscape

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Object Details

Artist

Edward Hopper

Date

ca. 1916–19

Medium

Oil on panel

Dimensions

Panel: 11 3/4 × 16 inches (29.8 × 40.6 cm)
Frame: 18 1/4 × 22 1/2 × 2 inches (46.4 × 57.2 × 5.1 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Herbert Gussman, Class of 1933

Object
Number

97.021

Maine’s Monhegan Island served as a summer haven for artists like Hopper, who painted its rugged c(…)

Maine’s Monhegan Island served as a summer haven for artists like Hopper, who painted its rugged coastline beginning in 1916. The site, with its coves, cliffs, and impressive surf, had attracted nineteenth-century artists like William Trost Richards and gained in popularity when Hopper’s teacher Robert Henri first visited the island in 1903. Over the next fifteen years, Henri, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, and others aspired to capture the vitality and natural beauty of the island with a modernist painter’s sensibility. Positioned on a cliff or slope, Hopper deftly captured the waves lapping the rocks and the warm summer sunlight using broad energetic brushwork and assured strokes of pure color.The Johnson Museum has a small but choice collection of landscape paintings and watercolors by American Impressionist and modernist painters, including Childe Hassam who is represented by more than eighty etchings largely donated by William P. Chapman, Jr., Class of 1895. (“Highlights from the Collection: 45 Years at the Johnson,” curated by Stephanie Wiles and presented at the Johnson Museum January 27–July 22, 2018) Early in his career, Edward Hopper spent the summers of 1916 through 1919 painting at Monhegan Island, Maine, a site that had also inspired many other artists such as Robert Henri, George Bellows, and Rockwell Kent. A student of Henri’s, Hopper was no doubt encouraged to visit this “wonderful place to paint.” Monhegan seemed to captivate Hopper, who produced several paintings of the rugged coastline and spectacular panoramas it afforded. In this body of work, Hopper comes close to American Impressionism in his efforts to capture the fleeting effects of light and shadow on the dramatic landscape about him. In this, he approaches the manner of painting seen in Childe Hassam’s Rocks and Sea, Isle of Shoals of 1912, a painting also owned by the Johnson Museum. This short-lived tendency ultimately gave way to his typical calm and quiet manner of painting, as seen in Portuguese Church in Gloucester (1923). Throughout his career, though, he never lost his interest in the subtle effects of light, as witnessed in both these works. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art,” 1998)

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