Quantcast

The Lighthouse at Two Lights

Edward Hopper (American, Nyack, New York 1882–1967 New York)

Date:
1929
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
29 1/2 x 43 1/4 in. (74.9 x 109.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Hugo Kastor Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
62.95
  • Description

    Edward Hopper's early training from 1900 to 1906 at the New York School of Art with Robert Henri, leader of The Eight, and his work as an illustrator between 1899 and 1924, led him to paint realistic scenes of urban and rural America. In 1924 a successful gallery exhibition in New York enabled him to give up commercial work altogether and concentrate full time on painting. Hopper depicted his favored subjects — cityscapes, landscapes, and room interiors — solemnly, in carefully composed compositions that seem timeless and frozen but are animated by the effects of natural and man-made light. As fellow painter Charles Burchfield wrote for the catalogue of the Museum of Modern Art's 1933 Hopper retrospective: "Hopper's viewpoint is essentially classic; he presents his subjects without sentiment, propaganda, or theatrics. He is the pure painter, interested in his material for its own sake, and in the exploitation of his idea of form, color, and space division."


    In "The Lighthouse at Two Lights" Hopper isolated the dramatic silhouette of the 120-foot-high lighthouse tower and adjoining Coast Guard station against the open expanse of blue sky. Set on a rocky promontory in Cape Elizabeth, Maine — though no water is visible in the painting — the architecture is bathed in bright sunlight offset by dark shadows. Since 1914 Hopper had regularly summered in Maine, and this picture is one of three oils and several watercolors that he did of this site during summer 1929. To Hopper, the lighthouse at Two Lights symbolized the solitary individual stoically facing the onslaught of change in an industrial society. The integrity and clarity of his work made Hopper a quiet force in American art for forty years and one of America's most popular artists.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower right): Edward Hopper

  • Provenance

    the artist (1929); Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Tucker, New York (1929–ca. 1959); Richard D. Tucker, New York (in 1959); Lawrence Fleischman, Detroit (ca. 1959–at least 1960); [Frank K.M. Rehn Galleries, New York, until 1962; sold to MMA]

  • Exhibition History

    Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Paintings by 19 Living Americans," December 12, 1929–January 12, 1930, no. 36 (lent by Mrs. Samuel A. Tucker).

    Museum of Modern Art, New York. "American Painting and Sculpture, 1862–1932," October 31, 1932–February 11, 1933, no. 53 (as "Lighthouse," lent by Mrs. Samuel Tucker, New York).

    Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Edward Hopper: Retrospective Exhibition," October 30–December 8, 1933, no. 14 (lighthouse identified as in Cape Elizabeth, Maine; lent by Mrs. Samuel A. Tucker).

    New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Painting and Sculpture from the American National Exhibition in Moscow," October 28–November 15, 1959, unnumbered cat. (p. 10; lent by Richard D. Tucker).

    Milwaukee Art Center. "American Painting 1760–1960: A Selection of 125 Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence A. Fleischman, Detroit," March 3–April 3, 1960, unnumbered cat. (p. 84).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971, no. 392.

    Moscow. State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. "Representations of America," December 15, 1977–February 15, 1978, no catalogue.

    Leningrad. State Hermitage Museum. "Representations of America," March 15–May 15, 1978, no catalogue.

    Minsk, Belarus. Palace of Art. "Representations of America," June 15–August 15, 1978, no catalogue.

    New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist," September 16, 1980–January 25, 1981, unnumbered cat. (pl. 194).

    London. Hayward Gallery. "Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist," February 11–March 29, 1981, unnumbered cat.

    Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. "Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist," April 22–June 17, 1981, unnumbered cat.

    Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. "Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist," July 10–September 6, 1981, unnumbered cat.

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist," October 3–November 29, 1981, unnumbered cat.

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist," December 16, 1981–February 10, 1982, unnumbered cat.

    Canberra. Australian National Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," March 1–April 27, 1986, unnumbered cat. (p. 55).

    Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," May 7–July 1, 1986, unnumbered cat.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Edward Hopper," May 6–August 19, 2007, no. 52.

    National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Edward Hopper," September 16, 2007–January 21, 2008, no. 52.

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Edward Hopper," February 16–May 11, 2008, no. 52.

    Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Earth, Sea, and Sky. Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 6, 2012–January 4, 2013, no. 110.

    Beijing. National Museum of China. "Earth, Sea, and Sky. Nature in Western Art: Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8–May 9, 2013, no. 110.

  • References

    Guy Pène du Bois. Edward Hopper. New York, 1931, pp. 28–29, ill.

    American Artists Group. Edward Hopper. New York, 1945, unpaginated, ill.

    Lloyd Goodrich. Edward Hopper. London, 1949, p. 15, pl. 11.

    Henry Geldzahler. "Edward Hopper." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 21 (November 1962), pp. 113–15, fig. 1.

    Robert Beverly Hale. "American Paintings and Sculpture." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 21 (October 1962), pp.. 58–59, ill.

    Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, p. 78, ill.

    Lloyd Goodrich. Edward Hopper. New York, 1978, ill. p. 73 (color).

    Japanese Artists Who Studied in the U. S. A. and the American Scene. Exh. cat., National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, 1982, p. 120, ill.

    Gail Levin. Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 3, Oils. New York, 1995, p. 192, no. O 266, ill. (color).

    Carol Troyen et al. Edward Hopper. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 2007, pp. 107, 248, no. 52, ill. p. 109.

    Tomàs Llorens in Hopper. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen Bornemisza. Madrid, 2012, p. 66, fig. 61 (color).

  • See also
489258

Close