Hawk and Sparrows
The painting has recently been attributed to the Flemish painter Carl Wilhelm de Hamilton, having previously been described as 'Dutch school' for many years. It entered the Gallery through the Bourgeois Bequest in 1811 as a work by Jan Weenix, the painter of game and hunting scenes, but this attribution was most likely due to the painting's subject rather than its style. Hamilton was the son of the Scottish still-life painter James Hamilton who had moved to Brussels in the mid-17th century, and where Carl Wilhelm was subsequently born. Nicknamed 'Thistle Hamilton', due to the frequency with which he included this plant within his work and possibly in reference to his Scottish origins, Hamilton painted impressive forest scenes often full of insects, reptiles, plants and birds. This new attribution is based on stylistic similarities to known paintings in other collections such as the Mus‚e des Beaux-Arts, Lyon and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.