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Creator Name: Hopper, Edward
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Dates/Places: 1882-1967
Creator Birth Place: Nyack, New York, United States
Creator Death Place: New York, New York, United States
Creator Name-CRT: Edward Hopper
Title: Soir Bleu
View: Scanned from a 4x5 transparency, by Charl Marmorstein
Creation Start Date: 1914
Creation End Date: 1914
Creation Date: (1914)
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Whole - 36 x 72 in. (91.4 x 182.9 cm.)
AMICA Contributor: Whitney Museum of American Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 70.1208
Credit Line: Josephine N. Hopper Bequest
Context: Soir Bleu is a vivid and monumental work painted in 1914, almost four years after Hopper's last sojourn in Paris. Its grand scale is an indication of how strong an impression Parisian life had made on the young Hopper. At home in his New York studio, he created this melancholy allegory from reminiscences partly literary, partly art historical, and certainly personal. The artificiality of Soir Bleu is inevitable and intentional. Hopper, as dramatist, has assembled a cast of characters and traditional types that play out timeless roles of courtship, solicitation, and tragic self-isolation. One of these characters is described in a preliminary drawing with a note, the shadowy isolated figure of the procurer seated alone at left. Hopper has also included a classically attired clown in white, a military officer in formal uniform, a bearded intellectual in a beret, perhaps an artist, and a well-dressed bourgeois couple. Standing beyond the balustrade, as though presiding over this mixed company, is a haughty beauty in gaudy maquillage, her painted face demanding attention in the brilliant glow of oriental lanterns in the cool blue night. In Soir Bleu, we witness Hopper's early attempt to create, rather than merely record, a sophisticated, anti-sentimental allegory of adult city life. Back in America many years later, he would stage the masterpiece Nighthawks (1942) with all the worldly reality he sought in Soir Bleu but was too young to make emotionally convincing. However, this major early painting gives a clear indication of Hopper's enormous ambition for his art.
Related Document Description: Larsen, Susan C. Edward Hopper: Selections from the Permanent Collection. New York, New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1989, p.8.
AMICA ID: WMAA.70.1208
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright Whitney Museum of American Art

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