Johann Georg de Hamilton – Brussels 1671 - 1737 Vienna
The artist was the son of the Scottish still-life painter, James Hamilton (c. 1640-1720), who was active in Brussels. James had two other sons who became painters, Karl Wilhelm, called 'Thistle-Hamilton' (c. 1668-1754), and Philipp Ferdinand (1672-1737). Although born in Brussels, the three Hamilton sons spent their careers as court painters in central Europe, where they specialised in animal and still-life pictures. Johann Georg was a court painter of the Emperor Charles VI, for whom he painted pictures of copper plates for the Rsselzimmer in Schloss Schnbrunn, Vienna.
Johann Georg de Hamilton established a workshop in Vienna after his arrival in 1698 where he became Hofmaler to the Dukes of Liechtenstein and Schwarzenburg. For much of his career he stayed in Vienna, however with interludes at the Court in Berlin and in the service of the Emperor Charles VI at Laxenburg.
De Hamilton specialised in painting the portraits of horses in the Imperial and Ducal stables and Reitschule; a number of these works survive in museums throughout central Europe (Budapest, Dresden and Vienna, for example). The present horse is a stallion since mares where not trained in the 18th Century and possibly a Lippizaner. Lippizaner horses were bred and trained in Vienna and, as they were smart and docile, they were often used for dressage.