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...!