Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton
Forest Still Life
Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton, Flemish, Forest Still Life, ca. 1735, Oil on copper; 36.5 x 26.4 cm (14 3/8 x 10 3/8 inches), Gift of Drs. Arnold-Peter C. and Yvonne S. Weiss 2003.140
Human presence is completely absent in this scene of forest life, where an unfolding drama between predator and prey is revealed by a skillful combination of precise draftsmanship and acute scientific observation. Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton’s use of oil paint on copper gives special luster to his pigments, a quality that made the copper support a favorite with specialist nature painters. De Hamilton also used his thumbprint to create the moss on the trunk of the tree.