Title Alone
Artist Edward Hopper
Markings Signed, dated and inscribed (at lower right): Alone/E.Hopper/98
Medium Pen and ink on paper
Dimensions 7 3/4" x 6" (18 1/2" x 15 3/4", framed)
Provenance The artist, until 1967; to his widow, Jo Hopper, until 1968; to private collection, until the present
Authenticity Guaranteed by Hirschl & Adler Galleries 21 East 70th St., New York, NY 10021
Commentary At the beginning of the twentieth-century when Hopper was employed as an illustrator, there was not a lot of critical differentiation between the pragonatic functions of the illustrator and the inventive form making of the creative artists. This was, in part, due to the pervasive residue of nineteenth-century academicism at the time of the nascent modernist movement. Hopper’s drawing isolates a solitary, wizened veteran legioneer, a foot soldier of lower status whose glory days in the military are behind him. Despite his shabby garb and bare feet on the hot desert sands, he retains his erect posture and dignity as he diligently performs his sentry duty. Shouldering his rifle, he scans the desert panorama, casting a long shadow with the sun at his back. In front of his feet are a few spindly desert plants popping out of the sand, indicating the tenacity of life under harsh conditions, to which the old trouper gives living, breathing testimony. Rising on the horizon in back of him are the three ancient pyramids of Giza, casting their funerary shadows in his direction. RPM
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