Hamilton learned much from a half dozen painters he greatly admired, especially Max Beckmann. All of them were about making great paintings, regardless of subject. In the early sixties, Hamilton was painting like early Philip Guston, then influenced more by Beckmann, then Francis Bacon and finally the late Guston. Perhaps it was inevitable that they would show up in his cast of characters. Their influence may be obvious, but even in paying tribute to them the results are always uniquely Hamilton.