Person details

Hamilton, William


Title: Sir

Notes: Sir William Hamilton (1731-1803) was a diplomat and art collector. He was appointed envoy to the Spanish court of Ferdinand IV at Naples in 1764, where he established himself as a prominent collector of Roman, Greek and Etruscan antiquities. Hamilton commissioned Baron d'Hancarville's Antiquités étrusques, grecques et romaines (1766-67), which was influential in establishing a taste for classical styles and decoration among the elite of eighteenth-century Europe. Hamilton's own collection of vases was purchased by the British Museum in 1772. The post at Naples also allowed Hamilton to develop an interest in volcanoes, and his observations and drawings were published in the Philosophical Transactions and Campi phlegraei: Observations on the Volcanoes of the Two Sicilies (1776). ODNB.

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