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A Study in Solitude
One of the first of Edward Hopper's many "window paintings" Girl at Sewing Machine, an oil on canvas depicts a feeling of solitude as she sits intent on her work, the sun of a New York day streaming through the tall windows with the typical yellow brick surround.
While it is currently housed in Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid the painting was created in 1921 in the United States – most probably New York - and is a fine example of Hopper's style.
As one of the foremost American exponents of realism his portrayal of the girl at work captures the loneliness of the task, separated from the summer sun both by her work and the window.
The girl in this painting seems so much more self-contained than that of the other "window painting" produced in the same year – Moonlight Interior.
While seemingly the same girl, the second painting has a much more furtive air where the nude model stoops over the bed perhaps aware of the wide open window at her back.
Hopper at this time was just beginning to gain recognition for his etchings and both of the paintings continues one of his main themes which he had begun to explore in these, for example in Evening Wind - that of the solitary female.
Coming a year after his second exhibition which took place at the Whitney Studio Club these begin to show the artist as emerging from the tunnel which he perceived himself to be journeying through into the light of critical acclaim.
Girl at Sewing Machine was to prove an inspiration for the American poet Mary Leader in her poem of the same name.