About this artwork

The poet William Hamilton, celebrated for his translation of Homer, is shown in this portrait by his cousin, Gavin Hamilton, as he might appear on a classical coin or medal. Painted in profile and dressed in antique fashion, William is framed within a painted oval, decorated with laurel leaves. He is shown again, as the seated figure in the painting below, designed to resemble a sculpture carved in relief. It illustrates an episode from his poem, 'Contemplation or the Triumph of Love'. The portrait was probably painted in 1748 in France where William, a Jacobite supporter, was in exile.

Gavin Hamilton

Gavin Hamilton