James Hamilton’s vivacious watercolours take a quirky, unpredictable eye on landscape form and structure. Hamilton has been painting quietly for nearly twenty years, beside his career as an art historian, art gallery curator and director, and, since the early 1990s, biographer. He finds his subjects within his garden, in the fields beside his home in Kidlington, Oxfordshire, and on family travels throughout the UK, and in Italy, France, Spain, Scandinavia and Turkey.
Hamilton’s paintings are antidotes to his work as a writer, and to his understanding of his beloved Turner, Faraday, Gainsborough and Constable. His biographies of J. M. W. Turner, Michael Faraday and Thomas Gainsborough broke new ground in the understanding of these cultural giants, while other books, London Lights (2007) and A Strange Business (2014), have explored the social background of art and science, and the art market in the nineteenth century. His latest book, Constable: A Portrait, is just published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.