Why Did Edward Hopper Paint This Clown?


Why Did Edward Hopper Paint This Clown?

Edward Hopper Soir Bleu

After Jan Matejko’s Stanczyk, here’s another sad clown, this time painted by Edward Hopper. In this video, we’re looking at his 1914 Soir Bleu.

A perculiar talent; the ability to paint ‘silence’. Although background noises would prob surround the events in Hopper’s works, they fade into insignifance and silence ‘muffles’ them. For e.g. the painting Morning Sun (woman in pink on bed) would contain strret sounds, traffic, etc and yet we seem to identify with the women who seems oblivious to her surroundings – in her own personal silence. All painting are ‘intrisically’ silent but Hopper actually had the skill to make it tangible – THAT is surely, genius! – Keith Steward

I’m a clown and I love this painting, clowns had a different connotation in France at this time. The clown in the painting is a particular type that was born in France (the Pierrot) which was born out of the Italian commedia del arte (Pedrolino) This character was quite famous during the time—the character being advanced by more development of the lyrical sad nature, more beautiful than the original. It could be that he added it as a symbolic gesture, as clowns are less “human” and more archetypal. Clowns don’t normally sit down in full makeup in a cafe especially as some of them were considered “stars” at the time (Jean Louis Barrault) – Atis


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