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Rachel Ruysch (1664 - 1750)

Lot 560: Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton (Brussels c. 1668-1754 Augsburg)

Christie's

April 11, 2002
London, United Kingdom

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Description

Forest floor still lifes with lizards, snakes, Painted Lady butterflies, a Red Tiger moth, snails, thistle and convolvulus oil on copper 11 5/8 x 8 1/8 in. (29.7 x 20.6 cm.) a pair (2) PROVENANCE Anonymous Sale; Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 23 May 1967, lot 431, as Otto Marseus van Schrieck (to Douwes on behalf of Dreesmann). Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. A-2). NOTES We are grateful to Mr. Fred Meijer of the RKD for confirming the attribution after examining the pictures in the original. The artist was one of a prominent family of artists active in central Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His father, James Hamilton (c. 1640-1720), was a Scottish artist who had worked for most of his career in Brussels, whilst his two brothers, Philipp Ferdinand (c. 1664-1750) and Johann Georg (1672-1737), were active in Vienna, the former being Court Painter from 1705. Karl Wilhelm was employed in Augsburg as Court Painter for Bishop Alexander Sigismund von Pfalz-Neuburg, and may have been the Hamilton recorded as having worked for the court at Baden-Baden from 1699-1707. Along with artists such as Rachel Ruysch, de Hamilton was strongly influenced by the work of Otto Marseus van Schrieck, specializing in accurate depictions, such as the present works, of insects, reptiles and amphibians, set against a small area of the forest floor or dunes with a variety of flora, including moss, grass or herbs. Karl Wilhelm was known by the sobriquet 'Thistle Hamilton' for one of the consequently predominant items of subject-matter in his oeuvre.

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