Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hopley, Edward William John

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HOPLEY, EDWARD WILLIAM JOHN (1816–1869), painter, born in 1816, resided for the early part of his life at Lewes in Sussex. He was originally destined for the medical profession, but soon turned to art, settled in London, and after some years succeeded in gaining popularity as a painter of domestic subjects, and also of portraits. In 1845 he exhibited at the British Institution a picture entitled ‘Love not,’ and in 1854 and 1855 two pictures illustrating the ‘Vicissitudes of Science,’ viz. ‘Sir Isaac Newton explaining to Lord Treasurer Halifax his Theory of Colour’ and ‘Michael Angelo in the Gardens of the Medici.’ In 1859 he exhibited a picture entitled ‘The Birth of a Pyramid,’ the result of considerable archæological research and industry, which attracted attention. He exhibited first at the Royal Academy in 1851, when he sent ‘Psyche.’ His last work was a portrait of Professor Owen, F.R.S., exhibited at the British Institution in 1869. Hopley resided latterly at 14 South Bank, Regent's Park, where he died 30 April 1869, in his fifty-third year. He invented a trigonometrical system of facial measurement for the use of artists.

[Art Journal, 1869, p. 216; Catalogues of the Royal Academy and British Institution.]

L. C.