Karl Wilhelm DE HAMILTON (Brussels, 1668 - Augsburg, 1754)
The son and pupil of the Scottish still life painter James de Hamilton (c.1640-1720), who settled and worked in Brussels, Karl (or Carl) Wilhelm de Hamilton was one of a large family of artists active in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. His brothers Ferdinand Phillipp (c.1664-1750) and Johann Georg (1672-1737) were both active in Vienna, while Karl Wilhelm worked mainly in Germany, first in Baden-Baden and later in Augsburg, where he served as court painter to Bishop Alexander Sigismund von der Pfalz-Neuburg. Karl Wilhelm specialized in ‘forest-floor’ still life landscapes and, in particular, bird subjects. Among his most famous works are several different versions of a landscape known as The Parliament of Birds, based on a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer written around 1380. Paintings by Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton are in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart, and elsewhere.