Edward Hopper, Night Shadows, 1921
“I love the night with a passion. I love it as one loves one’s country, or one’s mistress, with an
instinctive, deep, invincible love. I love it with all my senses, with my eyes that can see it, with
my sense of smell that can breathe it, with my ears attentive to its silence, with my whole body,
caressed by its darkness. Larks sing in the sun, in the warm air, in the light air of fine mornings.
The owl plunges into the night, a black form crossing the blackness, and delighted, intoxicated
by the black immensity, he gives his resonant and sinister hoot.
Daytime wearies and bores me. It is noisy and brutal. I find it hard to get up. I dress wearily,
go out regretfully, and each step, each movement, each action, each word, each thought
wearies me, as if I were under the burden of a crushing load.
But when the sun starts to sink, my whole body comes alive with an intense joy. I wake up,
I come alive. As the shadows lengthen I feel a different person, younger, stronger, more
alert, and happier. And I watch it, the great soft shadow falling from the sky, I watch it
growing thicker: it drowns the city, like a thick and immaterial wave; and it hides, blots
out, destroys colour and form; houses, beings, and monuments are smothered under its
lightest of light caresses.”
Guy De Maupassant, Night, 1887