Edward Hopper - Nighthawks

Hopper said the painting "was suggested by a restaurant on Greenwich Avenue where two streets meet. I simplified the scene a great deal and made the restaurant bigger."  Hopper posed for the two men in a mirror and wife Jo for the girl. Nighthawks was probably Hopper’s most ambitious essay in capturing the night-time effects of manmade light. This interior light comes from more than a single lightbulb, with the result that multiple shadows are cast, and some spots are brighter than others as a consequence of being lit from more than one angle. Light was the most powerful and personal of Hopper's expressive means. He used it as an active element in his paintings to model forms, define the time of day, establish a mood, and create pictorial drama by contrasting it with areas of shadow and darkness.

Hopper made many small sketches of concepts and details of his pictures before working on the final paintings. Many of the sketches for this painting still remain. To see the original :

Edward Hopper – Nighthawks - 1942 - Art Institute of Chicago

Henri Rousseau - The Dream

Created in the same year as his death, The Dream was   Rousseau’s last painting, which was debuted at the MOMA only a few months before his untimely death.

Henri Rousseau was a self-taught artist who worked as a customs agent on the outskirts of Paris. He was considered one of the great naïve artists. In today’s art market his work would be considered “Outsider Art”. Much of his work was ridiculed, but he did have a small following. Pablo Picasso was one of his big fans and promoted his work. His characteristic paintings, in particular, those on the theme of the jungle captivated the art world with their representations of lush plant and animal life painted with incredible detail and precision. What's interesting though is that Rousseau himself never set foot outside France. His imaginary scenes were informed by visits to the Paris zoo and botanical gardens, and images from postcards, photographs, and illustrated journals. To see original:

Henri Rousseau - The Dream - 1910