Coastal Scene at Sunset with Ships

by James Hamilton (1819–1878)
Oil on panel
7⅜ x 11 inches
Signed indistinctly lower right


Private collection

Sale, Cordier Auctions, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 2022, lot 91, from above

Private collection, New York, New York, acquired from above

Related Works

A Fresh Breeze, 1856, oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware

The Ancient Mariner, 1863, oil on canvas, 47 x 72⅛ inches; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Note: James Hamilton is best recognized for his striking maritime depictions. This work highlights the artist’s mastery of light, as the orange light gleams across the horizon and reflects onto the dark waves.

Artist Biography

James Hamilton was one of America’s first marine painters, celebrated for his striking harbor views and sailing scenes. Inspired by the work of J.M.W. Turner, Hamilton cultivated a dramatic repertoire of naval battles, storms, and shipwrecks, punctuated by bursts of brilliant color and blazing light. His Romantic work earned him a reputation as “the American Turner” and popularized seascapes for American artists and audiences.

Originally from Belfast, Ireland, Hamilton moved to the United States with his family at the age of fifteen and established his career in Philadelphia. Supported by a wealthy patron and encouraged by local artists, he attended drawing

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