<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Hamilton, Frederick William, Sir, 1815–1890

Drawings of mosaics, carvings, and other patterned ornament.

England ; Italy, 1878 April-1886 July.
Physical Description:
2 v. (240, 186 p.) : ill. ; 16 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
NK1570.H36 D73 1878
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
General Frederick William Hamilton served in the Grenadier Guards from 1831 to 1861. Subsequently, he was Vice President of the Council on Military Education, 1862-1866; Commander of forces in Scotland, 1866-1868; and Commander of the Brigade of Guards in England, 1868-1870. He retired in 1881. Hamilton was also the author of The origin and history of the First or Grenadier Guards (London, 1874-1877).
The notebooks are bound in contemporary green morocco, with brass edges. Rebacked in modern green cloth, with new endpapers.
Drawings of mosaics, carvings, and other patterned ornament, in two volumes, by Sir Frederick William Hamilton, 1878-1886. The drawings document items Hamilton saw in person, in London, or in travels to Italy, frequently in museums or occasionally in publications. The drawings are completed in a variety of media, but primarily in pen and black ink, frequently over rough drawings in graphite. About half of the drawings are embellished with watercolor. The drawings are very technical in nature, and Hamilton has clearly used mechanical tools such as a straightedge and compass. Most pages include Hamilton's notes on the subject, location, and date of the drawings. Likewise, Hamilton provides indexes at the beginning of each volume, although the index to volume 1 is very incomplete.
A number of the subjects in the beginning of the first volume record artifacts from the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum); these include many Italian and Arabian designs and carved wooden panels. Other subjects come from prominent buildings in the vicinity of London, such as Knole House, from which Hamilton draws several ceiling patterns. Hamilton also copies designs from Owen Jones' influential Plans, Elevations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra (London, 1842-5).
The end of the first volume records Hamilton's tour in Italy from 1881 and 1882. Drawings in this section include marble, mosaics, and other ornament from St. Mark's in Venice; the Vatican, the "Teverino Museum", and the Palace of the Caesars, in Rome; the Naples Museum; Pompeii; and the Palazzo Pitti, in Florence. The volume concludes with assorted notes by Hamilton, including several pages on the "Process of, addresses for cameo cutting" in London.
The second volume continues with drawings from Hamilton's tour of Italy in 1883. In Florence, he draws marble and cabinet details at the Bargello; in Rome, details (especially mosaics) of the Vatican, the Lateran Museum, and the Basilica of San Clemente; in Sienna, the Duomo; again in Florence, the Etruscan Museum and San Miniato. A number of these drawings reproduce the vivid colors of the original mosaics or ornament.
Upon his return to London, Hamilton appears to develop an interest in Indian art and design. A number of drawings at the end of the second volume come from objects exhibited at the Indian Colonial Exhibition in 1886, with a special focus on carved wooden panels and screens.
Subject Terms:
Cameos -- Great Britain.
Colonial and Indian Exhibition (1886 : London, England)
Decoration and ornament -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Decoration and ornament -- Italy -- Pictorial works.
Goury, Jules, 1803-1834. Plans, elevations, sections, and details of the Alhambra.
Hamilton, Frederick William, Sir, 1815-1890.
Indian art -- Pictorial works.
Knole House (Kent, England)
Marble in interior decoration -- Pictorial works.
Mosaics -- Pictorial works.
Mosaics, Italian -- Pictorial works.
South Kensington Museum.
Wood-carving -- Pictorial works.
Patterns (Design elements)
Mechanical drawings -- 1878-1886.
Travel sketches -- Italy -- 1878-1886.
Ink drawings -- 1878-1886.
Graphite drawings -- 1878-1886.
Watercolors -- 1878-1886.

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.