Karl Wilhelm DE HAMILTON (Brussels 1668 - Augsburg 1754)

A Crossbill on a Branch Sold

Watercolour on vellum.
Numbered 195 on the backing board.
200 x 176 mm. (7 7/8 x 7 in.)


Among Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton's most famous works is a painting, known in several versions, entitled The Parliament of Birds, which incorporates between sixty and seventy different species of birds, including a similar crossbill at the centre of the composition of one such variant.

A member of the finch family, the crossbill (Loxia) is characterized by mandibles with crossed tips (hence its English name) and is usually found in higher latitudes in the northern hemisphere. The unusual shape of their bills allows the birds to extract seeds from their preferred food of conifer cones. The bird depicted here is an adult male crossbill, which tend to be red or orange in colour, while females are usually green or yellow.

The Dillée family, Paris
By descent to Guillaume Dillée, Paris.

Karl Wilhelm DE HAMILTON

A Crossbill on a Branch


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