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Themes

Hopper painted this work in South Truro, Massachusetts, where he and his wife had built a home and studio in 1934. Despite its bright palette and seemingly serene subject, Ground Swell echoes the themes of loneliness and escape typical of Hopper’s oeuvre. The blue sky, sun-kissed figures, and vast rolling water strike a calm note; however, the visible disengagement of the figures from each other and their noticeable preoccupation with the bell buoy at the center of the canvas belie the initial sense of serenity.

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