James Hamilton American, born Ireland

Not on view

Hamilton, who was best known as a marine painter, was much celebrated in the mid-nineteenth century, especially in Philadelphia, where he trained, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and later supported himself by teaching drawing to such notable painters as William Trost Richards and Thomas Moran, among others. Celebrated as an "American Turner" for his accomplished seascapes, Hamilton admired the great British painter’s work and that of other British marine painters during a year-long sojourn in England in 1854. Turner’s influence is also evident in Hamilton’s watercolor work, with its bold use of gouache and interest in atmospheric effects. Hamilton, who does not seem to have traveled to Egypt, likely invented this fanciful composition, amplifying the romance of the ancient ruins with his depiction of a dramatic sunset.

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