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Nighthawks by Edward Hopper - Research Paper Example

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Institution Date 1. “Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper Introduction Nighthawk is a 1942 painting by an American painter known as Edward Hopper that shows people sitting at a diner late at night. It can be said that it is one of the most famous and recognizable American art…
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Nighthawks by Edward Hopper
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"Nighthawks by Edward Hopper"

Download file to see previous pages The eyes of the viewers are first drawn by the bright, cold fluorescent light of the interior; however, the viewer quickly turns the attention to the customers. The three counter servers or patrons are set against the dark background of the nighttime street. Perspective in the Nighthawks It is important to look at the use of perspective in the painting. The painter chose to paint a scene situated at a sharply angled street corner instead of many of New York’s right angled intersection. Therefore, the sharp corner gave the painter an opportunity to exhibit his subjects from a frontal view and also made the painter to be able to exhibit dimly visible street scene behind the patrons. In addition, the shape of nighthawks when viewed from the painters chosen angle, gives this second glass a surface to fill the whole painting. More so, the pane of glass forms a rhomboid, which is near to the centre of painting and remembering, with slight interruption, the shape of the whole canvas and framing much of the action (Theisen 239). The back windows in the paintings acted as background for all the customers but not for the seller in the restaurant. The customer who is isolated from the rest is at the precise centre of the frame-within-frame (that can be said to be the real centre of the entire painting). Despite the fact that they sit around the bended counter, couple’s heads are painted directly to his right in order for the horizontal line drawn halfway between the bottom and the top of the canvas would cut all the three heads. The painter was keen in presenting the whole human element in his painting to be contained within the lower right-hand quarter of the canvas. Color in the Nighthawks It is vividly clear that the Hopper used ‘a bit of bright’ ceiling in his painting near to hidden fluorescent light that illustrates the interior. The ceiling is of limited importance to any narrative that might be showing up among customers below which depicts that Hopper’s realism in these paintings. In addition, outside the dinner, dull colors are dominant as might be expect during the night. In the interior, the men’s suits and counter tops are also dull not bright as the ceilings. There are also two brightly colored spots in the whole of interior which shows white outfits worn by the server of the hotel and the female customer is painted wearing a red blouse. The red blouse and lipstick of the female customer represents Hoppers use of red in the entire painting making her different from everything else in the painting (Barnet 37). Light in the Nighthawks The painter was interested in capturing the effect of light on the subjects and objects it touched. In addition, he was inspired by the nighttime effect of artificial and manmade light spilling out doorways, windows and porches. In the paintings, Hopper captured the might-time effect of light. For instance, he showed that the diner plate-glass caused more light to spill out onto the sidewalks. Implication of the Nighthawks The painter used the title nighthawks to refer to those people who are night owls and also represents a particular nocturnal bird. In the painting therefore, Hopper tries to show nature is taking over things in the sense that people are moving towards mechanized future and that they will still display an untamed restlessness. These situations are perceived with jaundiced eyes in the sense that nature and technology attract people but at the same repels. The darkness depicted ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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