Untitled Document

Artist Biography

References:

Peter Hastings Falk, Who Was Who in American Art: 1564-1975 (Madison, CT: Soundview Press, 1999)

William Gerdts, Art Across America: The Far Midwest, Rocky Mountain West, Southwest, Pacific (New York, NY: Abbeville Press, 1990)


After emigrating from Oxford, England, the Hamilton family settled in a town near Buffalo, New York. Initially discouraged from pursuing an artistic path, Hamilton convinced his parents to send him to Europe to study painting, and upon his return opened up a portrait studio to help relieve financial burdens. He primarily lived in New York or Connecticut, but once had a prolonged stay in Pasadena, California for health purposes. He traveled constantly throughout his life, and his works reflect the styles he encountered, from the tonalism of Barbizon to the soft-hued palette of Southern California.

Luminous Sunset on the Rockies was painted after Hamilton’s second trip to France in 1878-1879, during which he spent time at the artist’s colony in Pont Aven, Brittany learning from the group of plein air painters who were known as the Barbizon school. After his return to America, he went out to paint the West with the atmospheric, tonal style of Barbizon. Here is skilled, confident brushwork, a beautiful yellow-orange palette, and a sense of serenity in the broad, unpopulated view. Hamilton’s straight-forward, unsentimental approach to landscape was fitting for depictions of the unspoiled and untamed West.

Hamilton was a member of the National Academy of Design, the American Watercolor Society and the Century Association in New York City, and was the founder of the Silvermine Guild of Artists in Norwalk, CT. His works hang in prestigious collections like the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY; the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, OH; the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, AZ; and the National Academy of Design Museum in New York, NY.