The Story Behind a Nickname: Hugh William ‘Grecian’ Williams

Hugh William Williams watercolour of a Lakeland View Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Hugh William Williams watercolour of Loch Tay with Kenmore Church Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Hugh William Williams (1773-1829) was a Scottish painter known for his depictions of landscapes.  He began his artistic career training under David Allan and Alexander Nasmyth.  He later befriended J. M. W. Turner, who was an important influence as well as an admirer of Williams’ work

He received the nickname ‘Grecian Williams’ after his extensive travels in Italy and Greece between 1816 and 1818, which greatly influenced his painting style and approach.  Upon his return he published Travels in Italy, Greece, and the Ionian Islands, which provides a detailed itinerary of his journey.  Williams held an exhibition of watercolours based on his tour throughout Europe in 1822 which was widely praised.  The following year, Williams was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Hugh William Williams watercolour of a Lakeland View Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Hugh William Williams watercolour of a Loch Kay with Kenmore Church Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

Today Williams’ work is represented in museums at the National Gallery of Scotland, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and many other notable public collections.

We are delighted to have this watercolour by Williams in our collection.  It is signed ‘H.W.Williams’ in the lower right corner and attractively mounted and framed.  The watercolour depicts a bucolic landscape of Loch Kay with Kenmore Church and bridge.  An almost identical view painted by Williams was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1800.

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