Macallum, Hamilton (DNB01)

From Wikisource
 
Jump to: navigation, search

MACALLUM, HAMILTON (1841–1896), painter, born at Kames, Argyllshire, on 22 May 1841, was the second son of John Macallum, J.P., of the Kames gunpowder works. While still a boy at school he showed a strong inclination towards art. This, however, was opposed by his father, who insisted on his entering a merchant's office in Glasgow, in preparation for an Indian commercial career. In 1864, when he was twenty-three years of age, he finally rebelled, and, winning a reluctant assent from his father, went to London to become a painter. He entered the Royal Academy schools the same year. From that time onwards his time was divided between London and various painting grounds (the western highlands, among which he prowled in a small yacht of his own, Heligoland, Holland, Southern Italy, the south coast of Devonshire), where his favourite subject, sunlight, could be fully studied. His original and thoroughly personal way of treating this subject soon attracted attention, and won him both detractors and admirers. He had studios successively at Hampstead (Haverstock Hill), in Piccadilly, and at Beer, South Devon. His contributions to the chief London exhibitions extended over twenty years, from 1876, when 'Hoisting the Storm Jib' was at the Royal Academy, until 1896, when his last picture, the 'Crofter's Team,' hung on the same walls. Macallum died very suddenly of heart disease at Beer on 23 June 1896. He left a widow, Euphemia, daughter of Mr. John Stewart of Glasgow, and one son. Mrs. Macallum subsequently (13 March 1900) received a civil list pension of 100l per annum in consideration of her husband's merits as an artist.

Macallum was one of the most original landscape painters of his time. He was single-minded, concentrating his attention on those aspects of nature by which his own sympathies were most closely touched. His pictures have great individuality. He saw colour in a way of his own, but his best works are likely to be prized long after things conceived on more conventional lines are forgotten. Three of them are in the Millbank Gallery, the 'Crofter's Team,' already mentioned, and two drawings in watercolour.

[Private information.]

W. A.