Judgment of Paris was completed around 1940 and is Hopkinson’s colorful interpretation of the famous story from Greek mythology, painted over the centuries by a number of artists and portrayed here on the family’s Manchester lawn. He casts himself in the role of the mortal Paris, holding the “golden apple” and faced with the difficult task of choosing the fairest of the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, who are personified in the forms of one of his grown daughters and her two friends. Hopkinson’s rendition of the warm sunlight streaming down on his subjects and his use of lively brushstrokes to capture the rustling trees and sparkling ocean are impressive.
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Alternately calling themselves “The Four,” “The Five,” and the “Society of Watercolorists,” Hopkinson, Charles Hovey Pepper, Carl Gordon Cutler, Harley Perkins and Marion Monks Chase sought to increase the awareness of modern art in the Boston area, introducing a new visual language to a traditionally minded public.
Hopkinson’s experimentations in color theory resulted in a modern, fauvist style of painting, drastically different from the earlier portraits, but of an equally notable quality. While Hopkinson received mixed reviews of these works, his efforts were rewarded with medals at the National Academy of Design, the Saint Louis Exposition, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Art Institute of Chicago. Enjoying a remarkably long and successful career, Hopkinson continuously challenged himself as an artist. The resulting body of work is both refreshing in its daring and familiar in its praise of natural beauty.
Collection of the artist
By descent through the artist's family to present
- The Institute of Modern Art / 210 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass. / Owner: Charles Hopkinson / Return to: Will Call / Title: Judgement (sic) of Paris / Artist: Charles Hopkinson / Medium: Tempera / Size: (blank)
- The Boston Art Festival 1954 / 149 / Name: Hopkinson / Address: 30 Ipswich St. Boston / Title of Entry: Judgement (sic) of Paris / Medium: Tempera / Price: 5000
- Tavern Club / 4 Boylston Place / Boston, MA 02116 / Charles Sydney Hopkinson / (1869-1962) / The Judgment of Paris / Oil on canvas, c. 1940 / 33 x 43 / Signed ‘Hopkinson,’ Lower Left / April 8 – May 17, 2010
- The Institute of Modern Art, Boston, Massachusetts, early 1940s (based on address on label)
- The Boston Art Festival, Boston, Massachusetts, 1954
- Tavern Club, Boston, Massachusetts, April 8 – May 17, 2010
- Charles S. Hopkinson: The Innocent Eye, Vose Galleries LLC, Boston, June 8 – July 20, 2013