Son of Saverio Altamura, an Italian professor at the Naples School of Fine Arts and the painter Eleni Boukouri from Spetses, he got his first painting lessons from his mother. In 1857/ 1859, after his parents separated, he returned to Athens with his mother and brothers and sisters. According to the records of the School of Fine Arts, he studied in 1871-1872 under Nikephoros Lytras. From 1873 to 1876, on a scholarship from George I, he continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen under the seascape painter Karl Frederik Sorensen, studying gratis thanks to the recommendation of the Danish architect Christian Hansen. Suffering from tuberculosis, in 1876 Altamouras returned to Greece and settled in Spetses, where he died two years later.
In 1875 he took part in the Olympia Exhibition where he exhibited the “Copenhagen Harbour” and received the silver second class medal and in 1878 he exhibited at the World Exhibition in Paris; after his death his works were presented in group exhibitions in Greece and abroad.
Familiar with the European tradition of seascape painting and having assimilated the academic Danish tradition on the same subject along with the more innovative viewpoints of his teacher, he worked primarily in this thematographic area, at the same time painting a number of landscapes, portraits and naval battles taken from the Greek War of Independence. By virtue of his royal scholarship he was given the opportunity to associate with officers of the Danish Royal Navy and to sail with the Danish fleet, thereby getting to know the Scandinavian maritime areas he would so frequently depict in his works. His compositions, lyrical and atmospheric, are characterized by the way they capture the momentary, the fleeting and the capricious and reveal his contact with the currents of early impressionism.