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Nighthawks Painting

Who was edward hopper?

Born in 1882 in a town called Nyack in New York, Edward Hopper was artistically inclined from a young age and started drawing sketches in his teenage years.

historical overview

World War II was in full swing during 1942. This time undoubtedly impacted all Americans and left them feeling a sense of uncertainty and fear about their lives and the outcome of the War.

more about hopper

He made three trips to Europe before settling in Greenwich Village and slowly developed his career as an artist. He visited Paris and Amsterdam and experienced what art was like there.

more about hopper

He was a conscientious artist, and, with his wife's input, his paintings were extensively planned before their execution, much like the delicate planning that goes into directing a movie.

subject matter

We see a diner with four people inside, on what appears to be a street corner. There are three men and one woman, of which Hopper and his wife Jo were the main models.

the four night hawks

There are four figures inside, three sit around the wooden countertop, which takes up most of the space. The waitron is the only figure out of the four with a more animated facial expression.

the props

If we look at the countertop, we see the meticulous attention to detail in the coffee cups, glasses, napkin holder, and salt and pepper shakers.

color & light

Hopper utilizes color to depict ambient light in the Nighthawks painting, we see this primarily in the fluorescent light in the diner, which was a popular and new type of light form during the 1940s.


The way Hopper utilized perspective in his Nighthawks painting is significantly interesting and artistically astute.

a question left unanswered

The “buzz words” around this painting are timelessness and loneliness because it shows us the realities of living in a city brimming with culture and people, yet it can leave one feeling isolated in its throes.

title of the painting

Nighthawks was given its name because of the sharp shape of the man’s nose sitting next to the woman.


The Nighthawks painting value was $3000 in 1942, the year it was sold to the Art Institute of Chicago. However, the value of this painting has undoubtedly increased since the 1940s.

location of the painting

As it is a widely searched diner, it is believed that this specific diner was based on various diners.