Hagop Hagopian, born in 1923 in Alexandria, Egypt, is considered as one of the most important Armenian artists. His family had fled to Egypt during the Armenian Genocide in 1915. In Egypt, he would paint from the painful life of his compatriots who escaped the Genocide. From 1934 until 1941, Hagopian studied at Melkonian Educational Institute, an Armenian boarding school in Nicosia, Cyprus. In 1944, he moved to Cairo to study at the Cairo Academy of Fine Arts. In 1952, he was sent to Paris to continue his studies in art under André l'Hote, then at l’Academie Grand Chaumièr, under Edward Goerg, with a sponsorship from the Armenian community in Egypt.
In 1962, he moved to Armenia, where he discovered new themes for his paintings. At the age of forty, he began a new life. Even though he was a mature artist with a definitive painting style, with the influence of Minas Avetisyan, he created a series of new landscapes. His honest and heartfelt paintings of empty images of men were loved by the Armenian community. His soft and somber color scheme pointed to the Genocide which still haunted the artist.
Living in Leninakan and Yerevan gave the artist a bright hope for the future and a happier, however still muted, palette. The new paintings transformed the nature and landscapes into vast open spaces. The scenery is charged with emotion and moments of reflection.
In 1970, his was bestowed the title of Honored Artist from the exhibition of Armenian Art: From Urartu to Present. In 1977, he received the State Award of the Armenian SSR and the honorary title of People’s Artist of the Armenian SSR. In 1985, he received the USSR State Award. In 1997, he was presented the “Mesrop Mashtots” National Medal of the Republic of Armenia. In 2005, he was awarded the “St. Sahak and St. Mesrop” Medal of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.
He died in 2013, in Yerevan, Armenia.