Blonde Woman Before an Easel (c.1903-06). Edward Hopper (American, 1882-1967). Oil on board. Whitney Museum.
Chase’s influence can be discerned in Hopper’s Blond Woman Before an Easel, where the elegance with which Hopper depicts a woman seen from behind as she paints is reminiscent of his teacher’s. Hopper’s preliminary sketch of her long graceful neck and upswept hair is a document of his working process. The model is painting a portrait; perhaps she was a member of Chase’s celebrated portrait class, which Hopper remembered as being composed of mostly women.
From Monsters & Madonnas, Camera Craft Publishing Co., San Francisco, 1935. Mortensen’s wife Myrdith posed for this photograph. He blocked out her arms and head on the negative with a permanganate solution and added the nicks and scars with a sharp blade.