|Paper Size (W x H)||34 x 25 ins|
Edward Hopper's lifelong enthusiasm for the sea developed when he was a boy in Nyack, New York, then a prosperous Hudson River port with an active shipyard. Years later, in 1934, he and his wife built a house and studio in South Truro, Massachusetts, where he produced a number of oil paintings and watercolours manifesting his avid interest in nautical subjects. In this quiet and voyeuristic view, the several figures aboard the boat are disengaged from each other. Their gazes seem fixed on the bell buoy, and their resulting trancelike state is reinforced by the rolling waves beneath them.
A groundswell is often caused by a far-off storm felt even under clear skies - causing a buoy to ring even when there's no danger. The idea of threat in an idyllic setting has crucial precedents. In a work painted around 1639 by French classicist Nicolas Poussin, shepherds come across a tomb whose inscription -- "I too once lived in Arcadia" -- brings death into their idyll. Hopper's woman and his three half-naked men echo Poussin's rapt figures.
In late summer 1939, the threat of World War II was in the air, and artists responded to it. The ocean in "Ground Swell" thus parallels the waves of anger and fear, while its buoy sounds the alarm. The idea of attentive listening in an atmosphere of menace was already present in Hopper's Cape Cod Evening, painted right before his seascape. It's another scene of static omen, contrasting the light around its figures with the dark of its woods. Only the dog is active, as his ears prick at a sound.
Look longer, viewers will notice standard Hopper themes - mystery, loneliness, alienation.
The print is hand numbered and accompanied by a certificate signed by the Master Printer and bearing a matching number to the print.
About the Artist
Edward Hopper was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. His spare and finely calculated paintings of urban and rural scenes reflected his personal vision of modern American life. Today, he is regarded as one of the most enduring American painters of the 20th century.Find out more