A Close Look at Social Relationships through the Lens of Two Artists.

This gallery will focus on the works of two artists: impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, as well as Edward Hopper, whose works are said to be influenced by impressionism. Particularly, the works of these two artists will be compared in regards to their reflection of the influence of social relationships.

In this first painting of the gallery, Edward Hopper takes us to a lobby of a hotel, where three figures are eerily quiet. Hopper has provided an open space for social relationships to thrive. However, it is apparent that the opposite is happening. The figures seem isolated and completely separated from each other, despite the fact they share the same room. Even the two figures who look like they're sharing a conversation seem distant. Hopper shows the audience the overwhelming feeling of loneliness.
In this painting, we again see Hopper revealing a since of unnerving quietness and loneliness. The scene outside of the diner seems almost abandoned by the world, with nothing to suggest that anyone is around. Although both of the works that we have looked at so far share the similar content of lonely and distant figures, this painting has one essential difference to consider. Unlike the fist painting we see of Hopper's, which is open and allows the audience into the lobby, "Nighthawks" is completely set apart from the rest of the audience. The diner, which provides the only source of light in the painting, does not even have a door, suggesting that the figures within are totally out of reach.
The next set of paintings will look at Renoir's impressionist approach to social relationships and interactions. This painting depicts two girls making their way through a crowd of people. With short and quick paint strokes, he arranges a sort of atmosphere that makes it hard to make out any figures other than the two girls in front. In this way, it can be seen where Hopper's theme of isolation shares in Renoir's idea of city life depicted here. Despite being surrounded by a crowd of people, the two girls seem as though they are disconnected from them, and likewise the crowd seems disconnected from the girls.
Here is another look into Renoir's expression of social relationships through the lens of impressionism. The use of bright colors and visible paint strokes makes it appear as though the world was moving by quickly. Much like in the previous painting, many of the figures are not distinguished which suggests again the busyiness of city life. However, in this painting, it would seem that Renoir is promoting feelings of excitement within the crowds, rather than a sense of isolation.
This painting reflects a true sense of a carefree crowd, coming together to have a good time. The bright colors and the figures' movement provide the audience with an the overall emotion of excitement. Here we see Renoir's dramatic difference between Hopper's own paintings depicting social relationships. As the video explains, the festive mood of this painting was impacted greatly by the trademarks of impressionism, such as the bright colors and the fact that it captures a single moment of the event.
These next two paintings will present counterpoints to the understanding of the theme of the gallery. This painting particularly presents a different way in which Hopper portrayed social relationships. The girl is the sole figure in the room, which would suggest a deprivation of social relationships. The girl has her back turned to the audience, keeping to herself as she sows. Despite the fact that the girl is alone, the viewers themselves are the ones who encounter her, as they have to peer through the window to see her. Hopper allows the audience to be a part of this girl's seemingly intimate life.
This work is a counterpoint to the other pieces that I have chosen for this gallery. Throughout the gallery, I have explored different ways that social relationships have influenced and impacted the mood and context of some of the works of Hopper and Renoir. This painting stands apart from the rest because of the fact that unlike the rest, this one is a portrait. There are no other characters to have a social relationship with. However, this painting still portrays social relationships because of the story behind it. Nini was a young woman who was cruelly nicknamed "Fish Face". Ironically, because of this, she became a favorite model of Renoir, who had painted her with such a serene yet lonely expression . So, instead of the social relationship being the content of this painting, it was actually the social relationships that Nini had among people that allowed for this portrait to be painted.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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