When I first glanced at Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, I was incredibly intrigued. I thought It was a beautiful and realistic depiction of a slow night on the town. The title, Nighthawks, seems just right for the painting. The name fits perfectly with the scene, showing the reader the true emptiness in the night, when the sun has gone to sleep. The beautiful porcelain skinned woman, draped in red, sits on the brown swinging stool. The man next to her raises his eyes to meet with the old bartenders'. Not much happens at this New York diner at night. On the side, you see a man in a black suit and top hat looking down to stare at the smooth maroon table top, immersed in his own mind. The viewer identifies themselves as a stranger walking by the diner, glancing in.
Nighthawks was painted in 1942. The piece was inspired by a diner in Greenwich Village, New York. Hopper's painting has a dark tone, and sets a very mysterious mood. The painting was extremely thought provoking, urging the viewer to play out a story in their minds, giving each subject a personality and coming up with reasons as to why they're out so late at night. Hopper definitely wanted the piece to spark the imagination of its viewers.
Nighthawks is an oil painting. The technique used gives the picture a very realistic and recognizable look. All the subjects are focused on equally, each one taking on its own role. Because of the oil paint, each shape is not so strong and hard, but still defined. There are many colors used in the painting, but all manage to blend very well. He used the darkest shade of every color, which provides a very natural look with the night air. Also, Hopper was very picky about his lighting techniques, which is very evident in Nighthawks. The only light in the painting comes from the diner. The light hits the street that surrounds it, emphasizing the time of night.
Hopper's focus was everyday America. He painted houses, bars, theaters, and other ordinary places, along...