Edward Hopper, Rooms for Tourists, 1945
Carter Foster: These two studies for the painting Rooms for Tourists depict a house that was in fact an inn that's still there in Cape Cod, near Hopper's house in Truro.
So we have two very different drawings that are fairly complete and fairly close to the painting, but one was done clearly in the daytime and one was done at night. So you see Hopper working out the differences between how to show a building at night and how to do it in the daytime and this interest in the way light can create mood.He ended up making it a night scene, but what's unclear is when he made that decision. Did he decide only after looking at the way the inn looked at night and the way the room glowed out into the darkness that that would be a better painting than showing it in the daytime?
It's fascinating because you can really see him grappling with that in these two drawings. And in fact, the one that shows the building at night is, I think, one of his most successful drawings, because it conveys this sense of darkness and light in a really eerie and rather amazing way.