when was nighthawk created edward hopper
For analysis of paintings
by American realists
like Hopper, see:
How to Appreciate Paintings.
A typically minimalist composition, its geometric curves, accentuated by the Art Deco style facade and the stage-like quality of the lighting, creates a theatrical setting for the Bogart-and-Bacall couple at the counter. The cafe itself was based on a restaurant on Greenwich Avenue, Manhattan, Hopper’s neighbourhood for over fifty years. Hopper himself posed in a mirror for the two men, while his wife Jo was the model for the girl.
Night + brilliant interior of cheap restaurant. Bright items: cherry wood counter + tops of surrounding stools; light on metal tanks at rear right; brilliant streak of jade green tiles 3/4 cross canvas at base of glass of window curving at corner. Light walls, dull yellow ocre [sic] door into kitchen right. Very good looking blond boy in white (coat, cap) inside counter. Girl in red blouse, brown hair eating sandwich. Man night hawk (beak) in dark suit, steel grey hat, black band, blue shirt (clean) holding cigarette. Other figure dark sinister back at left. Light side walk outside pale greenish. Darkish red brick houses opposite. Sign across top of restaurant, dark Phillies 5c cigar. Picture of cigar. Outside of shop dark, green. Note: bit of bright ceiling inside shop against dark of outside street at edge of stretch of top of window.
Nighthawks is a 1942 painting by Edward Hopper that portrays people sitting in a downtown diner late at night. It is Hopper’s most famous work and is one of the most recognizable paintings in American art. Within months of its completion, it was sold to the Art Institute of Chicago for $3,000, and has remained there ever since.
It has been described as Hopper’s best-known work  and is one of the most recognizable paintings in American art.   Within months of its completion, it was sold to the Art Institute of Chicago on May 13, 1942, for $3,000. 
That reference has led Hopper aficionados to engage in a search for the location of the original diner. The inspiration for the search has been summed up in the blog of one of these searchers: “I am finding it extremely difficult to let go of the notion that the Nighthawks diner was a real diner, and not a total composite built of grocery stores, hamburger joints, and bakeries all cobbled together in the painter’s imagination”.  A Bickford’s Restaurant a few blocks from Greenwich Avenue has been proposed as one possible location.” 
Edward Hopper – Nighthawks, 1942
With its simple setting, dramatic lighting and ordinary stillness, the painting makes it easy for the viewer to place him or herself into the scene, on the city streets. The main character of the work seems to be the diner itself, with strong diagonal lines accentuated by the counter and the stools. However, with no doors to enter, the viewer is shut out from the scene by a seamless wedge of glass, allowing the viewer to invade the diner’s private world and his Nighthawks from the street by way of sight only.
Josephine was instrumental in Hopper’s transition from oils to watercolors and shared her art-world connections with him. These connections soon led to a one-man exhibition for Hopper at the Rehn Gallery, during which all of his watercolors were sold. The success of the show allowed Hopper to quit his illustration work for good and marked the beginning of a lifelong association between Hopper and the Rehn.
After graduating in 1899, Hopper briefly participated in a correspondence course in illustration before enrolling at the New York School of Art and Design, where he studied with teachers such as impressionist William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri of the so-called Ashcan School, a movement that stressed realism in both form and content.