Ground Swell

Edward Hopper

(American; b. Nyack, N.Y., 1882–d. New York City, 1967)


Ground Swell



Oil on canvas

36 3/16 x 50 1/16 in. (91.9 x 127.2 cm)

Museum Purchase, William A. Clark Fund, 1943

Accession Number: 


Hopper’s lifelong enthusiasm for the sea developed when he was a boy in Nyack, New York, then a prosperous Hudson River port with an active shipyard. Years later, in 1934, he and his wife built a house and studio in South Truro, Massachusetts, where he produced a number of oil paintings and watercolors manifesting his avid interest in nautical subjects. In this quiet and voyeuristic view, the several figures aboard the boat are disengaged from each other. Their gazes seem fixed on the bell buoy, and their resulting trancelike state is reinforced by the rolling waves beneath them.