19th Century Watercolour, Portrait of Elizabeth Hamilton




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Good Condition, Original Condition Unaltered, Signed by Artist
Robert Whale, British, 1805-1807 (Brantford)
No provenance.

Robert R. Whale (1805–1887) was an English-born Canadian painter.

Life and work.

Robert Reginald Whale was born in Altarnun, Cornwall in 1805. In 1852, Whale and his family emigrated to Canada, settling near Brantford, Ontario in Burford . Whale was a prolific painter, supporting himself and his family through the sale of his artwork—a challenging task in that time and place. He exhibited with the Ontario Society of Artists and with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts beginning in 1881. Whale died in Brantford on 2 July 1887.

Portrait of Hiram Capron by Robert Whale, c. 1852

Whale’s portraits of local inhabitants show the influence of Joshua Reynolds, often posing the sitter looking directly out of the frame—the figure highlighted against a shadowed background.[2] Though his landscapes use elements familiar from the previous century in Europe—the distant vista framed by nearby trees, the use of small human figures in the middle distance to lead the viewer into the composition—his subject matter was completely rooted in his immediate surroundings.[6] His body of work forms a valuable historical record of early Canada.[2]

Works by Whale are in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada,[1] Art Gallery of Ontario,[7] Art Gallery of Hamilton,[8] Museum London,[9][10] Sherbrooke Museum of Fine Arts,[11] Montreal Museum of Fine Arts[12] and McCord Museum of Canadian History.[13]

Two of Whale’s sons, John Claude Whale and Robert Heard Whale, as well as his nephew, John Hicks Whale, also were artists.

“Portrait of Elizabeth Hamilton”

History of Hamilton Place home in Paris, ON

1844 – Hamilton Place Constructed7

The exact date of the home’s completion is uncertain, however the date stone on the exterior walls states ‘1844’, we can thus assume that the exterior walls at least, were completed by this time.8


The house was designed by Andrew J. Minny7 It is possible that Levi Boughton worked on the house given its distinctive Cobblestone exterior, however no records have been found to say one way or another with any confidence.8

1860 – Northeast Wing Constructed8

1837 – Norman Hamilton Marries Elizabeth Smith Cooke

Elizabeth Smith Cooke was from a prominent Massachusetts family8, and the two were married on January 1.6

1861 – Elizabeth S. Hamilton nee Cooke Dies.

Elizabeth S. Hamilton nee Cook died Dec. 18.6

1863 – Norman Hamilton Marries Elizabeth Ebbs

After the death of his first wife, Norman Hamilton went to a local minister for guidance. Mr. and Mrs. Ebbs had an eligible daughter, that while much younger than Norman Hamilton, was interested in the prospect of marriage.8 The two were married on January 1,6 and miraculously, Elizabeth became pregnant almost at once.8

1864 – Elizabeth Hamilton nee Ebbs Dies

Elizabeth Hamilton nee Ebbs died June 26,6 after giving birth to a daughter, Elizabeth, so named after her mother.8

1865 – Norman Hamilton Marries Mrs. Sarah Maria Wickson Carruthers

Norman Hamilton’s third marriage was also arranged by the Ebbs family, who were aware that Mrs. Carruthers had been recently widowed and arranged for her to meet Norman Hamilton. The two apparently took a liking to one another8 as they made their vows on Aug. 23.6

1874 – Norman Hamilton Dies.7

1884/1888 – Elizabeth Hamilton Marries Paul Giovonni Wickson

Paul Wickson’s paintings of animals and rural scenes are of some renown. Mr. Wickson was active in municipal affairs and was an avid horticulturalist, with a large green house that he tended to. Elizabeth and Paul had two children: Lilian and Norman Jr.7

???? – Elizabeth Hamilton Inherits Property

Elizabeth Wickson nee Hamilton inherited her father’s house and lived there with her husband, the artist Paul Giovanni Wickson.6

1908 – Dividend from Paris Plow Works

It appears that Paul Wickson held a share of preferred stock in the Paris Plow Works, as a letter from the 16 of January, 1902 from said company informed Mr. Wickson that he was being paid a $150.00 dividend.7

1949 – Patterson Family Purchases House

The Pattersons took particular interest in decorating the interior of the house, the ‘P’ etched in the windows above the rear center hall door stands for Patterson. The family was comprised of Dr. Eric Patterson, his wife Eleanor, and their children Graeme and Sandra. They purchased the house from Paul Wickson’s Son, Norman. As part of the redecoration, they installed new electrical and heating systems and removed the floor carpets to show the pine floors.7

1982 – Obradovic Family Purchases House

The Obradovics were collectors of antique furniture and used Hamilton Place to showcase their favorite pieces. 7

1995 – Hansen Family Purchases House

Mrs. Hansen is a designer by training and Mr. Hansen is a professor of technology. They remodeled the kitchen, as well as making a new the new coach house and cobblestone driveway8

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