Contextual links (Painting Project)

Artist InfluencesI began looking at artists who illustrate interior scenes with a more

muted palette. Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) was a danish painter and depicted interior scenes with a limited ashy colour palette. His interior scenes often incorporate the impact of the light coming in from the windows. This is particularly relevant for the portrayal of the yellow main corridor I mentioned in the initial ideas. The glossy floor means that light coming in from the windows along the corridor will create various reflections in it. Although I wanted to use a more muted palette to trigger the feeling of melancholy; Hammershøi does not usually work with bright colours such as yellow. Hence, I needed to look at artists with the same idea of light that make yellows appear dull.

Interior, Sunlight on the Floor 1906 by Vilhelm Hammershoi 1864-1916

“Interior, Sunlight on the floor”, 1906 by Vilhelm Hammershøi

I then looked at the work of Edward Hopper (1882-1967), an American artist known for his portrayal of typical features of “twentieth-century American life.” It is said that Hopper was attempting to convey his inner state in his paintings even though he was painting merely  the “material world.” This idea of portraying an inner state through the medium of painting could be implemented in my own work as I wish to express the feeling of melancholy and nostalgia that comes with looking back on primary school.

Hopper is also useful in terms of the colours he uses. In particular, in “Sun in an Empty Room.” The yellow is subdued and faded but it still feels warm. This painting also incorporates the element of light coming in through the window, similar to Hammershøi’s, but the window is to the right of the painting rather than being central. The positioning of the window resembles that of the corridor I mentioned from my school, so I could consider this painting when executing my own work.

I looked at another piece of Hopper’s work and considered how I could use a similar style for the sculpture that was at my primary school. One piece of Hopper’s I looked at was “Early Sunday Morning.” It is a painting of the front of a row of shops. Hopper makes some attempt to add details, but the textures of the pavement and walls of the building seem quite flat and smooth rather than rough. I could apply these qualities to the painting of the sculpture as there is a wall with windows, so the bricks can have a fairly two dimensional feel to them.


“Early Sunday Morning”, 1930 by Edward Hopper



Glaves-Smith, J. and Chilvers, I. 2009. A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Koob, P. N. 2004. States of being Edward Hopper and Symbolist Aesthetics. American Art. 18(3), 52-77.


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