When he painted Lighthouse and Buildings, Hopper was mid way through his career and just tipping himself towards the breakthrough success that he would later have with pieces such as Nighthawks.
Lighthouse and Buildings is often seen as one of Hopper's most beautiful works, due to its finely detailed realist style and its compelling choice of subject matter.
This is a painting that seems to tell a story, and though it is steeped in the solitude that typifies much of Hopper's work it is also filled with a sense of serenity and natural beauty.
In many ways, this makes it a classic landscape painting, but it is very definitely marked with Hopper's unique and characteristic style.
This painting is often described as an example of New Realism, which was a product of thr first half of the twentieth century. New Realism was an artistic genre and philosophical way of looking at the world which emphasised that objects that humans perceive are partly created by the human mind.
Thus, though New Realist paintings do aim to represent reality in fine detail, they also have an element of subjectivity and imagination to them. This is very much one of the hallmarks of Hopper's style, which blends wistful beauty with a profound sense of the lonely underside of US life.
Though many of Hopper's New Realist works have a sense of gritty social commentary to them, Lighthouse and Buildings is arguably a softer piece. It depicts a lighthouse in Maine in a way that is getle and very beautul to behold.