James Hakewill (1778-1843) – English Architect and Painter

View of Bryan Castle Great House, Trelawny, Jamaica. From an Aquatint by James Hakewill, London, 1825. Collection: Brett Ashmeade-Hawkins.

James Hakewill (1778-1843), English Architect and Landscape Painter. Born in London, England. Trained as an Architect and Exhibited at the Royal Academy. Best known for his Illustrated Books of Topographical Views. In 1813 he published “Views in the Neighborhood of Windsor” which included a number of views of Stately Homes in the area near Windsor Castle. These were hand-colored Aquatints based on his own original Watercolors.

From 1816 to 1817 Hakewill traveled in Italy on the Grand Tour and on his return to England he published “A Picturesque Tour of Italy”, a collection of Aquatints of Classical Sites in Italy again based on his  own original Watercolors. Some of his Watercolors were finished by his friend, the famous English Painter J. M. W. Turner.

Of the 200 Watercolors that James Hakewill painted in Jamaica between 1820 and 1821, only 21 of these Watercolors were later published as Aquatints in his book, “A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica”, which was printed in London, England in 1825. This Hakewill Book and especially the 21 Hakewill Aquatints of Jamaica that it contains are also rare and much sought after by both Dealers and Collectors. I am fortunate enough to have 14 of the 21 Hakewill Aquatints of Jamaica in my own Private Collection.

James Hakewill published several other books on Architecture after his return to England in 1821. He also designed and built a number of Country Houses in Cheshire, England, and he was amongst the Architects who competed to design the new Houses of Parliament in London in 1836. Hakewill was busy working on a forthcoming book on Views of the Castles on the Rhine River in Germany, when he died suddenly in London in 1843.