Edward Hopper at Nine

Boy Looking at the Sea
Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967), Boy Looking at the Sea, 1891, ink on paper. The Arthayer R. Sanborn Hopper Collection Trust.

American painter, Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967) is famous for his studies on the themes of loneliness and escape. This picture of a young boy looking at the sea, drawn when Hopper was nine years old, offers an early glimpse of his mature painting style.

The sea was a source of fascination for the young Hopper who grew up in Nyack, New York, then a prosperous Hudson River port with a thriving shipyard. The boy in this drawing is looking at the sea with his hands clasped behind his back and his feet just inches from the lapping surf. The mood is decidedly pensive rather than playful, like so many of the sober, solitary adults in his later works.


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