Paris at Twilight

by Erna Hoppe Kinross


MEDIUM: Oil on canvas
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 23.8 x 28.8 ins/ 60.5 x 73.2 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘E. Hoppe Kinross’ (lower right)

This stunning nocturne scene by Impressionist artist Erna Hoppe Kinross shows a bridge over the River Seine in Paris in the hazy moonlight of twilight. The warm spots of occasional light sources, including a passing carriage and the burning streetlamps break up the overall tones of grey and blue. This work demonstrates the artist’s early style, being painted in 1910 when Kinross was experimenting with contemporary painting techniques and shows her influence by Monet in London.


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    Catalogue No: 6338 Categories: ,

    This nocturne scene by Hoppe Kinross from 1910 is an early work by the artist, as she had married her husband, Theodore Hoppe, four year prior and was experimenting with the contemporary painting styles. Particularly, one can correlate this artist’s painting with the works of Claude Monet in London, painting the Waterloo or London Bridge. Interestingly, Erna Hoppe Kinross met Monet at Giverny, and this artist was probably an even greater influence upon Hoppe Kinross than we can ever discover.

    One can analyse the composition of this piece, and its rigorous divisions in the composition, despite the tonalities being almost monochromatic. The occasional yellow light source, a passing carriage or burning streetlamp, breaks up the tendencies towards greys and dark blue tones. These tones parallel the hazy moonlight visible from the uppermost part of the canvas. A mysterious structure expands beyond where the artist is presumably sitting on the right-hand side of the canvas, seemingly a platform or a boardwalk to the Seine that ends a couple of metres from the viewpoint.

    Private Collection, London;

    (with) Trinity House Paintings, London;

    (with) Le Trianon Fine Art & Antiques;

    Private Collection, California

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    Erna Hoppe Kinross was born 17 September 1878, daughter of Louise Adele (nee Vogler) and Karl Theodore Hoppe and grew up in Hamburg. She specialised in figurative works and townscapes, exhibiting her work throughout the decade 1910-20, being recorded in Paris from 1906-1914. There she met Charles Kinross and were married in 1906.  By then she was an established artist who had exhibited at the Salon, Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts.

    At their holiday home in Giverny they met and became friends with Impressionist Claude Monet. Some of the pictures that Erna painted before marrying were later amended and “Kinross” added – so the date of the painting may be correct despite having “Erna Hoppe-Kinross” as the signature.

    The Kinross’s moved to England in 1915 where Charles’s business was based. One of her paintings was published in English Colour Magazine 1919 Vol II No. 4, but the subject (“Orchard Girl”) was clearly based on a French scene. An exhibition was held in Hastings sometime in the late 50’s or early 60’s at which a number of her remaining paintings were sold. She died on 31 March 1964.

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