Beach Scene

James Hamilton American, born Ireland

Not on view

Several American landscape artists, from Frederic E. Church to William Trost Richards to James Hamilton, garnered the honorific “American Turner,” after the visionary British master Joseph M.W. Turner, who died in 1852 just as the age of landscape painting in America was coming to fruition. Perhaps none better than the Philadelphian Hamilton earned the sobriquet for the expressionistic technical liberties he indulged after Turner’s example. Hamilton may have more conspicuously been a student of Turner’s contemporary John “Pandemonium” Martin. Martin’s streamlined stylization of terrestrial and celestial forms presages the same features in Hamilton’s work in both oil and watercolor, such as this otherworldly scene based probably on the Jersey shore at Atlantic City, which Hamilton began visiting in the 1860s.

Beach Scene, James Hamilton (American (born Ireland), Entrien 1819–1878 San Francisco, California), Watercolor and gouache on off-white wove paper, American

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