American realist painter and printmaker Edward Hopper was widely known for his oil paintings. He was also proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. His career benefited decisively from his marriage to fellow-artist Josephine Nivison, who contributed much to his work, both as a life-model and as a creative partner.
Hopper was thirty-one, when he sold his first painting “Sailing” in 1913 for $250. Although he hoped his first sale would lead to others in short order, his career would not catch on for many more years. At an impasse over his oil paintings, in 1915 Hopper turned to etching. By 1923 he had produced most of his approximately 70 works in this medium, many of urban scenes of both Paris and New York.
His realistic depictions of everyday urban scenes often shocked the viewer into recognition of the strangeness of familiar surroundings. He strongly influenced the Pop art and New Realist painters of the 1960s and 1970s. Hopper was considered as a minor-key artist, creating subdued drama out of commonplace subjects ‘layered with a poetic meaning’, inviting narrative interpretations, often unintended. He was praised for ‘complete verity’ in the America he portrayed.