Hugh 'Grecian' Williams 1773-1829

Little is known of landscape artist Hugh Williams’ early life. Apparently the son of a Welsh sea captain, he appears to have been lodging at Dalkeith in 1790, thanks to an Italian émigré, Louis Ruffini, a producer of embroidered muslin. It is thought that Williams studied under David Allan and Alexander Nasmyth. For the following twenty years or so Williams painted watercolours of Scotland with roccoco influences. He also started painting in oil. Between 1816 and 1818 he visited Italy and Greece and, after he returned, he wrote about his journeys in Travels in Italy, Greece and the Ionian Islands, exhibited his Greek work in Edinburgh and published engravings of his watercolours, too. Hugh Williams continued painting views of Italy and Greece during his last decade. He died at home in Edinburgh.