Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

Nighthawks is one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century, discover the magic of Edward Hopper's masterpiece

Edward Hopper captures customers sitting in an atmospheric late night American diner in his 1942 painting, Nighthawks.

The Art Institute of Chicago saw the painting's qualities straight away, snapping it up for $3,000. They continue to own and display it today, and it sits in a prominent position within an impressive catalogue of work now owned by this institution.

This particular artwork is the most famous of works from artist Hopper, and even ranks as one of the best known from the entire 20th century, certainly within American art and probably internationally too.

In Nighthawks, Edward Hopper managed to create an atmostphere the like of which cannot be seen in any other painting, either from his career of anyone else's.

Most of Hopper paintings feature daytime landscapes and seascapes which offer a simple but sublime finish that is immediately popular within the mainstream art public.

Nighthawks differs with a much more complex and moody appeal which offers greater longevity.

The Nighthawks painting came about soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and perhaps helps to sum up the negative feelings within the United States around this time.

Hopper normally produced paintings with a positive and calming look with a great attention to the natural beauty of Maine within the United States which was also where he lived for most of his career.

It's green hills proved an inspiration for many of his paintings, but Nighthawks represents an alternative mood that offers another view into the complex mind of this talented artist.

The original Nighthawks painting measures 84.1 cm × 152.4 cm (33.1 in × 60 in) and is now stored at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago.

Nighthawks Edward Hopper

It is certainly one of the biggest draws within this key American centre for arts, with other notable entries including Georges-Pierre Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Mary Cassatt's The Child's Bath and El Greco's Saint Martin and the Beggar.

There is a fuller list of famous paintings within the Art Institute of Chicago at the bottom of this page.

Hopper creates a feeling of urban loneliness and emptiness with this painting and he would commonly include this within many of his paintings, though others were normally accompanied with a more upbeat and brighter background from a more rural location.

There can be no doubt that Hopper was happier within the countryside and that he reflected this in his accomplished art.

For those interested, you can also find more Edward Hopper paintings here.

Much discussion is always made about any great painting and the emotions of the artist that produced it at the time, and Nighthawks is no different.

Interviews with the artist since this painting as well as additional research in other areas has suggested that Edward Hopper was not intending on specifically addressing the supposed loneliness of city dwellers when depicting the scene of Nighthawks, but he admitted that he may have unwittingly produced such a look within the painting once it was complete.

Edward Hopper was someone who loved visits to the cinema and avidly followed the major American Hollywood blockbusters of the time, with his own artistic eye that would see things that the mainstream movie-goers may have missed.

Some believe that the more negative and dark films may have influenced paintings like Nighthawks and also another painting entitled Night Shadows which itself appeared much earlier in 1921.

There is even some belief that his own career may have influenced filmography and specifically the film noir movement.

Edward Hopper and his Nighthawks painting have certainly influenced many different elements with the media and art world of 20th century America, and it is pleasing to see the name and reputation of this skilled artist continue to remain strong, even years after his death back in 1967.

The most exposure came recently when Nighthawks was featured within a Simpsons TV programme which underlines it's continued prominence within American contemporary art.

Edward Hopper was a truly American artist who captured many great scenes of this beautiful country within his paintings and the artist would always reflect on the positive elements of the country, be it landscapes or seascapes close to his home in Maine.

As well as the well chosen scenes, Hopper's own style of painting also captured them in the best light possible.

Nighthawks is often reproduced as an art print with a black inner-frame which matched the dark look which dominates the painting.

You can see examples of that on this page.

The links take you to the Art.com gallery where a great variety of choice is available, with many different colours of innerframes available, as well as frames in different styles, colours and sizes.

Nighthawks is a painting which can suit many different homes and these options can help ensure that the most appropriate solution is selected.

There is also an excellent website here where you can buy your own Nighthawks print from hopperprints.com.

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper is a famous oil painting by this respected American artist.

Nighthawks remains Hopper's best known and most popular work and is a common choice as art print reproduction for those looking to add some classic American art to their own homes.

You will find links below to where you can buy your own Nighthawks print, poster or stretched canvas and there is also plenty of information on the artist himself for those interested in learning more about Nighthawks.

At the foot of the page is a list of further Edward Hopper paintings too if you want to see more from the career of this famous American painter.

List of Famous Paintings within the Art Institute of Chicago

This Chicago institute is famous for displaying some of art's finest paintings and you can see a list below of some of the great works which sit besides Edward Hopper's Nighthawks.

List of Famous Edward Hopper Paintings

For those who appreciate the art of Edward Hopper and his Nighthawks painting, see below for several other key works from this artist's career.

  • Summer Interior
  • The Louvre in a Thunderstorm
  • Le Pont Royal
  • Road in Maine
  • Blackhead, Monhegan
  • Stairways
  • Night Shadows
  • The New York Restaurant
  • Railroad Crossing
  • The Mansard Roof
  • The Locomotive
  • House by the Railroad
  • Self-Portrait
  • Sunday
  • Drug Store
  • Lighthouse Hill
  • Coast Guard Station
  • Automat
  • Manhattan Bridge Loop
  • Railroad Sunset
  • The Lighthouse at Two Lights
  • Chop Suey
  • Early Sunday Morning
  • Tables for Ladies
  • Corn Hill (Truro, Cape Cod)
  • House in Provincetown
  • Cobb's Barns, South Truro and Hartford
  • Dauphinée House
  • Room in New York
  • House at Dusk
  • The Long Leg
  • Macomb's Dam Bridge
  • The Circle Theater
  • Cape Cod Afternoon
  • Compartiment C, Car
  • Cape Cod Evening
  • Ground Swell
  • Gas
  • Office at Night
  • Nighthawks
  • Dawn in Pennsylvania
  • Hotel Lobby
  • Summertime
  • Morning in a City
  • Summer Evening
  • Pennsylvania Coal Town
  • Seven AM
  • High Noon
  • Conference at Night
  • Cape Cod Morning
  • Rooms by the Sea
  • Morning Sun
  • Hotel by a Railroad
  • Sea Watchers
  • Office in a Small City
  • South Carolina Morning
  • Hotel Window
  • Four Lane Road
  • Western Motel
  • Chair Car
  • Two Comedians