Connect with us – Art History Stories

Summer Interior and Edward Hopper’s Women – Learning the Ropes of Romance

Edward Hopper. Summer Interior. Copyright © 2009 - Present All Rights Reserved

Love Story

Summer Interior and Edward Hopper’s Women – Learning the Ropes of Romance

Summer Interior: A solitary woman at the centre of an unknown crisis. Edward Hopper’s women appear frequently within his artwork. Most notably depicted as looking longingly out of windows, passively into their laps or as engaged in some menial activity.

Through Summer Interior, there is a stark realisation in Hopper’s realism – it forces us to look upon a moment in time that we should not have the privilege to observe. His painting conjures within us an array of emotions and gradually forces us to realise the tragic nature of his subject’s situation. A young woman sits on sheets pulled from her bed. Red faced and hunched, she is looking away in shame or upset. An arm is stretched down between her legs, covering what we now see is her exposed bottom half. Certainly one example of the presentation of Edward Hopper’s women.

Vulnerable and Alone - Hopper’s Summer Interior

Edward Hopper. Summer Interior. Copyright © 2009 – Present All Rights Reserved

Summer Interior thrusts towards us an array of vulnerable intricacies. We can guess at the cause of this young girl’s pain. Maybe, we can attempt to identify the catalyst of her heartache. However, in doing so we gradually bring on the haunting truth that this scene is one that cannot be reflected on with anything but the eye of bleak cynicism. Powerless and passive, we are the intruding stranger peering through the closed window of a solitary woman’s personal life.

Edward Hopper. Morning Sun. Copyright © 2009 – Present All Rights Reserved

A Devious kind of Detachment

Hopper’s bread and butter comes in the form of viewer detachment. As such, he is able to use a seemingly plain image to push his reader into the feeling that they are but a helpless observer in someone else’s world. Above all, he uses the dullness of a sepia colour palet, a claustrophobic bedroom setting and a passive subject to project a reality so far removed from the romanticism of modern day ‘love’. Typically, his subjects never look us in the eye. They stare out of windows, at walls, into coffee cups and at the turned backs of disinterested men. The goings on within the painting never involve the viewer… the relationship portrayed is between Hopper and his faceless subject alone.

Summer Interior is only one example of this but, in my opinion, it is one of the most tragically intimate of his paintings. His wife, Josephine, was a common subject of his and the varying dynamics of Hopper’s relationship with her clearly informed a number of his portraits. Jo, the assertive women and Ed, the physically imposing man of the house. Both players brought vices to the table. Despite this, the two remained married and continued to create together for over four decades. The question is, however, were these four decades of happy marriage or relationship turmoil?

Edward Hopper. Automat. Copyright © 2009 – Present All Rights Reserved

Hopper’s paintings would suggest the latter to be more likely.

Learn more:


Literary researcher, Ma(Res) student and teacher of all things written. Based outside of London on the sunny side of Kent but close enough to the city to enjoy the coffee shops and theatres.


More in Love Story

  • 21st century

    The Many Rebirths of Venus


    Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus is iconic in western art. Alongside the Mona Lisa, it is probably a contender for “most famous painting.” Unsurprisingly the renowned Renaissance picture has inspired reconfiguration, reproductions, and references in artworks ever since. So, let us explore some rebirths of...

  • dailyart

    Christian Dior and Surrealist Women Artists


    Since the entrance of feminism into public debate in recent years, it has influenced many aspects of our culture. One of these is fashion. Many designers have embraced female empowerment and diversity in many ways. One of the strongest manifestations of empowerment was the SS 2018...

  • The Terminus, Penzance Station, Cornwall by Stanhope Alexander Forbes cover The Terminus, Penzance Station, Cornwall by Stanhope Alexander Forbes cover

    20th century

    Fabulous Railway Station Paintings from the Golden Age of Train Travel


    Once upon a time, train travel was the height of fashion. That’s why the second half of the 19th century and first few decades of the 20th century are considered the Golden Age of Train Travel. The train represented an exciting new way to get places...

  • 20th century

    Art for Climate Change: Emily Carr, Odds and Ends


    Art has always had the power to communicate all kinds of emotions; some paintings convey a sense of peace and quiet, while others can make us feel upset or uncomfortable. The latter give us awareness about something that is wrong in our society, something that we...

  • Chateau Noir by Paul Cezanne Chateau Noir by Paul Cezanne

    Painting of the Week

    Painting of the Week: Chateau Noir by Paul Cézanne


    Today is Paul Cézanne’s birthday (he was born on January 19, 1839), so this Painting of the Week is dedicated to him. It is his landscape Chateau Noir, 1900/1904, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Chateau Noir is one of several paintings Cézanne...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy