Overview

"My aim in painting," explained Edward Hopper, "has always been the most exact transcription possible of my most intimate impressions of nature." Claiming the figures in Cape Cod Evening were done almost entirely without models, and the dry, blowing grass could be seen from his studio window in the late summer or autumn, Hopper continued: "In the woman I attempted to get the broad, strong-jawed face and blond hair of a Finnish type of which there are many on the Cape. The man is a dark-haired Yankee. The dog is listening to something, probably a whippoorwill or some evening sound."

Despite his matter-of-fact account, Hopper also has endowed this ostensibly straightforward work with a strong, albeit ambiguous, emotional undercurrent. The sense of eerie calm is due, in part, to the serene effect of the golden twilight sun that illuminates the grass in front of the Victorian house, but fails to penetrate the dense forest beyond. The middle-aged rural couple seem to lack any emotional rapport; they project a mood of self-absorption, futility, and alienation that typifies much of Hopper's figurative work.

Inscription

lower right: Edward Hopper

Marks and Labels

null

Provenance

(Frank K.M. Rehn Gallery, New York), at least in 1943.[1] Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection, New York, by 1945;[2] purchased 1948 by William Benton, New York; purchased 14 September 1950 by John Hay Whitney [1904-1982], Manhasset, New York; deeded 1982 to the John Hay Whitney Charitable Trust, New York; gift 1982 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1943
American Realists and Magic Realists, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1943, no. 18.
1950
Edward Hopper Retrospective Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Detroit Institute of Arts, 1950, no. 51, pl. 17.
1955
National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, 1955.
1960
The John Hay Whitney Collection, Tate Gallery, London, 1960-1961, no. 34, repro.
1963
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1963.
1964
Edward Hopper, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit Institute of Arts; City Art Museum of St. Louis, 1964-1965, no. 35, repro.
1980
Edward Hopper: The Art and The Artist, Whitney Mus. of Am. Art, New York; Hayward Gal., London; Stedelijk Mus., Amsterdam; Stadtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; Art Inst. of Chicago; San Francisco Mus. of Modern Art, 1980-1982, unnumbered cat., pl. 418.
1983
The John Hay Whitney Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1983, no. 70, repro.
1989
Edward Hopper, Musée Cantini, Marseille; Fundación Juan March, Madrid, 1989-1990, unnumbered catalogue and repro. (Marseille), no. 18 and repro. (Madrid).
1992
Edward Hopper 1882-1967, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 1992-1993, no. 68, repro.
1992
Edward Hopper und die Fotografie, Museum Folkwang Essen, Germany, 1992, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
1995
Edward Hopper and the American Imagination, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1995, unnumbered catalogue, pl. 38.
1998
American Light: Selections from the National Gallery of Art, Art Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, May-August 1998, no cat.
1998
Gifts to the Nation from Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1998-1999, no cat.
1998
Treasures of Light: Paintings from the National Gallery of Art, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, March-April 1998, no cat.
2004
Edward Hopper, Tate Modern, London; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2004-2005, unnumbered catalogue, repro.
2006
Full House: Views of the Whitney's Collection at 75, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, 2006.
2007
Edward Hopper, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago, 2007-2008, no. 93, repro.
2012
Hopper, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; Réunion des Musées Nationaux and Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 2012-2013, no. 51, repro.

Bibliography

1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 571, no. 870, color repro.
1988
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. Rev. ed. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1988: 180, no. 67, color repro.
1992
_American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 206, repro.
1992
_National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 251, repro.
2000
Kirsh, Andrea, and Levenson, Rustin S. Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies. Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies, vol. 1. New Haven, 2000: 164-165, color fig. 170.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 405, no. 336, color repro.
2011
Little, Carl. Edward Hopper's New England. Petaluma, 2011: 18, 82-83, color plate 31.
2012
Brock, Charles. “George Bellows: An Unfinished Life.” In George Bellows ed. Charles Brock (Exh. cat. Washington 2012). Munich, 2012: 26, color fig. 20.

Technical Summary

null

Related Works

Related Resources

  • Event Type
    Event Name
    March 1–June 1
    Mon, Tues, and Wed at 1:00
    March 5, 2012 at 2:00
    March 7, 2012 at 4:00
    East Building, Auditorium
    Name of docent
    image:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum
    60 minutes
    Registration for this event begins on April 1, 2012 at noon.
    Download the program notes (100k)
  • Self-Guided Tour
    Italian Collection
    image:
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum