Hugh Douglas Hamilton

Charlotte Stuart, Duchess of Albany, 1753 - 1789. Daughter of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (About 1785 - 1786)

About this artwork

Charlotte was the only child of Prince Charles and Clementine Walkinshaw. After her mother left Charles in 1760, she spent her childhood living in France. In 1773 mother and daughter travelled to Rome, but they were rebuffed and sent home. However, in 1784 Charles had a change of heart. He recognised Charlotte as his legitimate daughter and heiress, naming her the ‘Duchess of Albany’. She then travelled to Italy and nursed her father in his last years. She was described as tall, well-made, lively and very affable, but she was already terminally ill herself and died the year after her father. Charlotte left behind a secret. Before joining her father she had an illicit relationship with Prince Ferdinand de Rohan-Guéméné, Archibishop of Bordeaux, and bore him three children.

Hugh Douglas Hamilton

Hugh Douglas Hamilton

Douglas Hamilton was born in Dublin, the son of a wig maker. He trained at the Dublin Society School of Drawing under Robert West. After leaving the academy, Hamilton set up his business as a portraitist, painting small, oval portraits in pastel – or crayon as it was known. His relocation to London by the early 1760s brought commissions from the royal family, and in 1779 he was sufficiently wealthy to move to Italy with his wife and daughter. During his time in Rome he started painting large-scale history scenes in oil, in the popular neoclassical style. After his return to Ireland in 1792 he was widely regarded as the best portraitist in Dublin and was never short of work. From 1804 onwards he painted few works, and after his death some of his late portraits were finished by his daughter.