People in the Sun

  • Edward Hopper, People in the Sun, 1960, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 1969.47.61

Luce Center Label

In Edward Hopper's People in the Sun, five men and women sit on a terrace beneath a vast blue sky. Stark contrasts and cool light emphasize the eerie expressions, frozen poses, and formal attire of the visitors. Hopper distilled his memories of tourist destinations in the American West to create a scene that is strangely familiar but nowhere in particular. The precisely staggered deck chairs and bands of color indicating mountains, sky, and grass create an abstracted environment that veers between a real view and a stage set, as if Hopper were replaying a silent film of a family vacation. People in the Sun suggests a crowd of tourists who feel obliged to take in a famous scenic view, but do so with little pleasure. The canvas may reflect Hopper's discomfort in the West, where he found himself unable to paint with his usual enthusiasm when confronted by the harsh light and monumental landscapes.

Title
People in the Sun
Artist
Date
1960
On View
Dimensions
40 3/8 x 60 3/8 in. (102.6 x 153.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Recreation – leisure – reading
  • Landscape – weather – sun
  • Landscape – mountain
  • Figure group
  • Object – furniture – chair
Object Number
1969.47.61
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI
Audio

People in the Sun
1960, oil on canvas

EDWARD HOPPER
Born: Nyack, New York 1882– Died: New York, New York 1967

More from artist

More Artworks from the Collection