Edward Hopper (1882–1967)

Sierra Madre at Monterrey, 1943

Watercolor with touches of wiping, over a charcoal underdrawing, on heavyweight textured ivory wove watercolor paper, 21 1/4 x 29 3/4 in. (54.0 x 75.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1994.18

Although Hopper is known for oil paintings that evoke the alienation of twentieth-century American life, he was also a consummate watercolorist. One of a group of works he made during his first trip to Mexico, Sierra Madre at Monterrey shows the mountain range as the artist observed it from his hotel room. Most of his Mexico watercolors feature views taken from a lower vantage point and focus on the interaction of architecture and the surrounding landscape —a common theme in Hopper’s work. Here, the buildings, depicted as a haphazard cluster of rooftops partially visible along the bottom, are dwarfed by the massive blue and green mountains. The work exemplifies Hopper’s mature watercolor approach, in which he built up colors in layers and selectively scraped away the medium to create highlights, as seen in the peaks at center left.

Learn more about this watercolor on the Terra Foundation website.