Biography: Etcher, art critic and art book author. Hamerton was born in Lanesise, Shaw, England. Hamerton's mother died shortly after his birth and he was raised by his aunts in Burnley, England. He studied at the grammar schools in Burnley and Doncaster. In 1853 he moved to London to study painting under Joseph Paul Pettitt (1812-82) and later with William Wyld (1806-1889) in Paris. Hamerton lived and painted in the Lake District as well as the Scottish island of Innistrynich, Loch Awe. Here he authored his first book in 1855, collected poems entitled The Isles of Loch Awe and other Poems of My Youth. He also engaged in art criticism, heavily influenced by John Ruskin (q.v.).
He moved to Sens, France where he married Eugénie Gindriez, the daughter of a French republican magistrate. By the early 1860's the couple were living in Pré-Charmoy were Hamerton engaged in writing salon and other art criticism. A Painter’s Camp in the Highlands, his memoirs of painting in Scotland, and Thoughts About Art both appeared in1862. Some of his earliest criticism involved the famous 1863 Paris Salon, appearing in The Fine Arts Quarterly Review in October 1863. Other articles and book reviews appeared in the Cornhill Magazine, Macmillan's Magazine and the Fortnightly Review. Hamerton succeeded Francis Palgrave (q.v.) as art critic for the Saturday Review in 1866, a position he held until 1868. In 1868 he published Etching and Etchers, a biographical and critical account of etchers, helping to revive the interest in the medium.
From 1869 until his death in 1894, Hamerton edited and co-owned The Portfolio, one of the most important British art journals of the 19th-century.
His writing on etching is considered, along with the work of Sir F. Seymour Haden (1818-1910), to have contributed to the revival of etching in American and Britain.
He died in Boulogne-sur-Seine, France in 1894.