Based on a charcoal drawing (coll. Aaron Fleischman), The Lighthouse may represent the beacon on Eastern Point in Gloucester, which Hopper also painted in watercolor in 1923, or the lighthouse complex on Monhegan Island, Maine, where he spent the summers of 1916 through 1919. Moving from drawing to print, Hopper made changes that heightened the emotion of the image. He made the lighthouse and surrounding buildings taller and delineated them more sharply, so that they seem more heroic and enduring. He also intensified the light-dark contrasts, making the rocks more formidable but also drawing the viewer’s attention to the tiny figure at right, sketching the lighthouse across the cove.
Carl Zigrosser, The Etchings of Edward Hopper, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962, cf. no. 16 // Gail Levin, Edward Hopper: The Complete Prints, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1979, cf. pl. 98
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