Portrait Head

Title: Portrait Head

Artist: Edward Hopper

Dimensions: 8 1/2" x 7" (17 1/2" x 15 1/8", framed)

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Markings: Signed E. Hopper, lower right



Hopper captured the head of the old gentleman in an intense moment of engagement with someone or something outside the frame of the image. His gaze is directed straight ahead as if fixed on some far-off ideal. This device serves to activate the viewer’s space. The stern, craggy face of a confident, self-possessed individual with a penetrating gaze is given great psychological force.

Hopper achieves this effect with the use of cross-hatching to indicate shadows covering the planes of the forehead, check bones, nose, ear, and natty attire. This is augmented through shading with parallel curved strokes of the slicked back head of hair and well-trimmed mustache and beard. Hopper added a note of humor with the unruly twin clumps of hair at the back of the head. RPM


The artist, until 1967; to his widow, Jo Hopper, until 1968; to private collection, until the present


Guaranteed by Hirschl & Adler Galleries 21 East 70th St., New York, NY 10021