Analysis of Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”

Edward Hopper, “Nighthawks”, 1942, oil on canvas, 33 1/8 x 60 in., Art Institute of Chicago.

Amid World War II in 1942, Edward Hopper painted one of his most celebrated masterpieces,“Nighthawks”. A rectangular 5-foot wide canvas presents a corner diner in an urban environment frozen in the dark hours of the night, a scene lit by ceiling-mounted fluorescents eclipsed by a long lip of a flat roof balanced on thin beams bracing tall, wide glass windows. We’re voyeurs to the diner’s world, catching four figures…