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Rachel Ruysch (1664 - 1750)

Lot 79: Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton (Brussels c. 1668-1754 Augsburg)

Christie's

July 10, 2002
London, United Kingdom

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Description

A forest floor still life with a snake, snails, a caterpillar, a lizard and a butterfly oil on panel 131/2 x 103/4 in. (34.4 x 27.1 cm.) PROVENANCE Acquired by the family of the late owner in the 1960s. NOTES 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 work, 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. A pair of comparable works were sold in these Rooms, 11 April 2002, lot 560 (œ146,750).

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IMPORTANT OLD MASTER PICTURES

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Christie's
July 10, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

London, United Kingdom