This Thesis considers the life and work of Hugh William Williams [1773- 1829]. The
work is divided into two main sections; the Thesis itself and a fully illustrated, chronological
Catalogue of all the works by the artist in public collections. This includes a Catalogue of all
known prints by and after the artist.
In the Thesis, the artist's life and career have been examined in detail. The Introduction
is followed by a Short Biography of the Artist with a Chronology of known events. The
Introduction is followed by the Review of the Literature. Chapter 1 is devoted to the artist's
biography. This is divided into sub -sections as follows: 1:1 The Early Years, 1773 -1804; 1:2
Education and Training, 1782-1800; 1:3 Acting and Scene Painting, 1790-1800; 1:4 Teaching and
Pupils, 1793-1820; 1.5 Exhibitions, 1807-1829; 1:6 The Grand Tour, 1816-1818; 1:7 The National
Monument 1819 -1829; and 1:8 The Final Years and Aftermath, 1826 -1866.
Chapter 2 considers Hugh Williams at work. After a preliminary discussion of the
difficulties in discussing the work, this is considered under the headings 2:3 Watercolours; 2:4
Drawings and 2:5 Oils. The section on watercolours looks at methods and criticism of the
artist's colouring before going on to examine the work under the headings Early Watercolours,
1792 -1800; Transitional, 1800-1816; the Grand Tour, 1816 -1818; and Exhibition Watercolours,
1818 -1829. Reference is made to the Catalogue and to a large group of examples seen in
collections in Britain and abroad.
Chapter 3 looks at Williams as a printmaker and publisher of prints, considering all the
publishing projects with which he was involved.
Chapter 4 deals with Hugh Williams' place in the watercolour tradition in Scotland.
His precursors, Paul Sandby, Margaret Adam and Jacob More are dealt with in detail.
Chapter 5 considers the artist's reputation and influence, specifically at the
relationship between Williams and J. M. W. Turner, which is examined in detail.
The Catalogue, Parts I -III, illustrates and lists all the watercolours, drawings and oil
paintings by Hugh Williams, in public collections world wide. Part IV lists Incorrect or
Doubtful Attributions and Part V lists all known Prints by and after Hugh Williams. All
known versions of works are noted and there is a complete list of published and /or
manuscript sources for each work. The watercolours are cross- referenced to related prints and
drawings, in the Catalogue and elsewhere.
Finally, a Select Bibliography lists all known references to Hugh Williams in published
sources and related manuscript material. Appendix I, lists all works by the artist, exhibited
during his lifetime and Appendix II, presents the evidence for the artist having acted on stage
as well as having produced theatrical scenery.