Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Tale Of Two Houses


I just had to share these two amazing images with you. One is a painting by Edward Hopper, and one is a photograph by my good friend Russell from Iowa Grasslands. Russell didn't realize when he took the photograph that he was almost duplicating a Hopper painting. The name of the painting is "Ryder's House" and it was painted in 1933. It now resides in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

"Ryder's House", is described as follows: [The painting] shows a house built sometime before 1839. After several previous owners, title passed in June 1871 to Silas Ryder II. His son James, for whom nearby Ryder Beach was named, was born there. Again Hopper cues us about the long family history of the house through his title, Ryder's House. A traditional Cape Cod house-and-a-half, it was, and is, a shingled structure that retains much of its early character, in spite of subsequent additions. Rather than depicting the house from the front or the back, which would have indicated the actual size of the substantial dwelling, Hopper selected a vantage point that made the house seem small and simple. He emphasized its age by scumbling layers of gray-white pigment over one another so that it appears to be weathered stucco rather than shingle.

Russell's photograph was taken yesterday on a trip to northern Iowa. The whole area is encased in ice right now, but the brilliant sunshine on the house in his photograph is almost identical to the sunshine in Hopper's painting. Notice the chimneys and the shadows on the roof lines. And both images have an air of stark bleakness.

Now, if we could just get some history on Russell's photograph. I think these two images are wonderful...!

20 comments:

Mary Ellen said...

Wow! That is so cool and what a great eye for catching the similarities! I'm impressed as always, kiddo.

nancygrayce said...

Heard anything from Leslie?

Jo said...

Mary Ellen, isn't it amazing how similar they are? Gosh!

Nancy, Leslie's friend Kathy called me, and Leslie is back in her room, and the surgery went well. Now comes the recovery period.

willow said...

Yes, it's amazing! A very Hopperish house! It's a photo waiting to be painted.

Firefly said...

Its always kinda spooky when you take a photo of something and later see a picture or painting of kust about the same scene. You then tend to wonder if you had seen it before and subconciously took it cause you liked it.

Hilary said...

Pretty cool.. the similarities and Russell. :)

Russell said...

I'm surprised you put this up! Heh! I will be honest. I have driven by this house literally hundreds of times in the last 40 years and never noticed it much. I did take a few pictures of it the other day just because it is sort all by itself and I am impressed it is still in good repair after being vacant all these years.

However, I will have to say I think Hopper and his work are still in a class by themselves! But thanks for the side by side - it is most interesting....

Most interesting indeed.... and so are the two houses...!!

Now, let's get back to Canada things!! Much more interesting if you ask me!

Country Girl said...

Oh now, that's really interesting! I definitely see the similarities, Jo. Good one!

Ruth W. said...

Having driven through Iowa a few times, there are many areas that offer this view. That is what I like about that State.

vicki archer said...

Love the mix of art and photograph and drawing the similarities - great post, xv.

Carla said...

I agree with you. I love both of these images! And I'm glad that Russell was able to provide some information about the Hopper painting.

Smalltown RN said...

that is very interesting that Russell should taking that photo...I wonder if that style of home was a mainstay for the area.....both the painting and photo are incredible...

streetmachine said...

Hello I really like your blog, I would like a link exchange with you, I insert your blog to my favorite blogs ;)

hmstrjam said...

hello, nice blog!

JOSEPH GELB said...

those are beautiful homes

Mean Mama said...

Jo, I love your blog, I will definately be following it. you and I share a love of some of the same books. I grew up on a farm and loved the pictures. Your friend Russel is very talented. The light for both of the homes is incredibly similar, and the loneliness of the homes is similar as well. It sort of reminds me of some abandoned cabins I would periodically see in Montana.

Tom said...

you have a good point there, they do resemble each other. Almost like Deja vu!

ghielz said...

nice post...i like this

Lulikins said...

Hi

I saw an Edward Hopper exhibition many years ago in London and it has always stayed with me. Makes me want to visit these places (time?). It all seems so real. And maybe the photo just proves that the place at least is real, if not the time.

PS: I am new to blogging, so I will not yet have any of my own blogs.

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