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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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A calming landscape

Edward Hopper is a much loved 20th century artist. His work was a combination of realism and impressionism. The impressionists who he took inspiration included Cezanne, Monet, Degas and Pissarro. His painting were all pretty simple in design but they captured a certain mood in each painting.

At first sight Five AM by Edward Hopper shows a bare landscape. However, it is then the simplicity and calmness that keeps you staring at it. The cool blue and greys have a very calming effect. The focal point is the light in the lighthouse. It is the only light in the whole painting, there isn't even any light coming from the rows of housing.

The painting is also very still, with the frozen water it does not have any movement. Life can get so busy yet Edward has captured time frozen. The light house itself is isolated, which you would expect for a lighthouse.

However, the emptiness of the painting highlights a sense of loneliness. The houses are few, but they are packed together while the lighthouse is completely separated by a carpet of snow and ice. There is however, a house all by itself which makes you wonder if it could be a town hall or pub.

Overall the painting is firmly into realism, but it is also very contemporary. The colours used and the style make it a contemporary design. The painting is simple, but has a lot going on when you look closer. When people look at paintings they immediately look at what is happening, but never at what is not happening.

The fact that there is no movement, or alot of housing, even the light is still. Those are the things that make this painting interesting and calming. It also fits perfectly into a portfolio of other calm landscapes that Edward has painted. In a nut shell, this painting is beautiful and would be perfect as a photo hanging in someones quiet space.