Robert Hamilton is one of those rare artists whose work is known primarily to other artists. After a thirty year career as a professor of Painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, he retreated with his wife and two children to Port Clyde, Maine where he eschewed the business of art and painted more than 600 painting before his death in 2004.
Though well informed about art history and the art of his time, Hamilton sought the vision of a child, unadulterated by trends dictated by galleries and the market. He developed an eccentric vocabulary that combines a sophisticated worldview with a wry sense of humor. Hamilton’s paintings are populated by witty caricatures and historical figures – Egyptian princesses, WWII German officers, Renaissance masters, and cartoon characters who face the viewer in theatrical settings, like players in an absurdist play. Hamilton’s whimsical delivery masks the more serious undertones of a keen observer of life.