James Hamilton (b.1948) has been painting quietly for nearly twenty years, beside his career as an art gallery curator and director, and, since the early 1990s, biographer and art historian. His biographies of J. M. W. Turner, Michael Faraday and Thomas Gainsborough have broken new ground in the understanding of these cultural giants. Other books, London Lights and A Strange Business have explored the social background of art and science, and the art market in the nineteenth century. His latest book, Constable: A Portrait, is to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in March 2022.
He has also, however, been painting over these years in and around his garden, in the fields beside his home village of Kidlington, Oxfordshire, and on family travels throughout the UK, and in Italy, France, Spain, Scandinavia and Turkey.
His spirited watercolours have vivacity and charm, with a quirky, unfamiliar eye on landscape form and structure. They are antidotes to the work of his beloved Turner, Gainsborough and Constable, Hamilton's way of getting away from the presence of these famous, world-shaping colossi. As one critic has said of James Hamilton's work, 'your paintings make me happy'. What better recommendation can there be?
A dash of red on the landscape, Dedham Vale and East Bergholt 2019
pencil and watercolour
29 x 40 cm