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'Nighthawks' for night owls as Hopper finishes on Paris high

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

"Nighthawks", the best known painting of Edward Hopper, will be on show for Parisian night owls this weekend as a smash-hit exhibition that has confirmed the enormous appeal of the American realist artist reaches its conclusion.

The doors of Paris's Grand Palais were to remain open throughout the nights of Friday and Saturday in order to allow an expected 40,000 visitors to squeeze in a final viewing of a collection which has been one of the hottest tickets in town since it opened on October 10.

The all-night opening was an honour accorded previously to blockbuster displays of the works of Picasso (in 2008-09) and Claude Monet (2010-11).

The extraordinary success of the Hopper collection suggests that he has moved into the same league, in terms of popularity, as those giants of the art world.

By Wednesday evening, a total of 727,000 visitors had passed through the Grand Palais's entrance, and the final attendance figure is projected at 775,000.

That will place it just behind the Picasso collection in terms of numbers, although it will not threaten the Monet retrospective (913,000 visitors) as the most visited exhibition of recent decades.

Hopper (1882-1967) is celebrated for the mastery of light and atmosphere displayed in "Nighthawks", a melancholy late-night bar scene, "Morning Sun", which depicts a woman sitting on a bed by a window, and his many landscapes from the US East Coast.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130201/nighthawks-night-owls-hopper-finishes-paris-high