Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton was trained in Brussels by his father, the Scottish still life painter James Hamilton (c.1640-1720). He spent much of his career in Germany, in Augsburg and possibly Baden-Baden. He specialised in meticulous, highly detailed ‘forest floor’ still lifes influenced by Otto Marseus van Schrieck (?1619/20-1678) and Elias van den Broeck (1650-1708). Schrieck had invented the genre of the ‘forest floor’ still life which depicted plants, insects and reptiles against a dark background of dried leaves, moss and tree stumps. He often introduced some drama, such as a snake and its prey. Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton was the second son of the Scottish still life painter James Hamilton (c.1640-1720), who was born in Murdieston in Lanarkshire and emigrated to Brussels, probably for religious and political reasons. Karl’s elder brother Philipp Ferdinand de (or von) Hamilton (c.1664-1750), a sporting and still life painter, was appointed court painter to the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I in Vienna in 1705, and held this post also for the reigns of Charles VI and Maria Theresa. Karl’s younger brother Johann Georg von Hamilton (1672-1727) was an equestrian painter at the Viennese court. The work of Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton is represented in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyons; the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne and the Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart.