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Classical architecture has its own complex and unique vocabulary that is rooted in Greek and Roman history, which has carried through to the present day. It is through the creation of his paintings that Michael Hampton has been able to learn the vocabulary of classical architecture. Like a great painting or sculpture that pleases the eye, classical architecture relies on composition, form, balance, scale and harmony to achieve beauty. The primary focus of Michael’s subjects has included 17th and 18th century architecture of the French Ancien Régime as well as the Baroque and Palladianism in England. Hampton is particularly drawn to the charm and frivolity of French, English and Italian garden pavilions and has recently expanded his interest to include American garden pavilions, whose architectural variety ranges from Georgian, Adamesque, Neoclassical and the Italianate, to name a few.
Michael began drafting and learned the principles of perspective while still in his teens. He continued his studies of design, fines arts and architectural history at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design in 1994. Inspired by the master architectural renderings created by students of the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, Michael is continuing the traditions of this specialized and fading art form. Michael continued his studies at the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art in New York City, where he completed their annual Winterim Intensive Study.
I view classical architecture as one of the noblest of art forms. My passion for French architecture began with my first trip to Paris in 1998. I completely immersed myself in the splendor of the architecture from that first trip, which led to my interest in creating architectural watercolors. I am always striving for historical accuracy in representing these buildings so that I can preserve their history and present them in a new and inspiring light.