Portrait of a Gentleman with Blue eyes
Portrait of a Gentleman with Blue eyes

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Crayon and pencil, and watercolour, signed and indistinctly dated. 10ins x 8 1/2 ins, Hugh Douglas Hamilton was born in Dublin, the son of a wigmaker. Studied under James Mannin and at Dublin Society's with Robert West. He specialised in small oval crayon portraits, his success enabled him to move to London in 1764. He was very successful and was able to charge 9 guineas  a portrait. He also executed larger full length portrait and conversation pieces. Visited Rome and Florence in 1778, where he studied neo-classical settings , which he subsequently used in his portraits. He met Canova and Flaxman in Italy, who both admired his work. He returned to Dublin in 1791 and continued his successful career now charging 120 guineas ,a portrait,up to the end of his career. Hamilton retired in 1804 . His work was much admired by Horace Walpole . His portraits can be exceptional but over the years his work has been sadly underrated , only in recent times has his work begun to attract the recognition it deserves.
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