Prancing horse & animal combat. The hunting de Hamiltons, violently vivid 18th-century painters. The brothers, Philipp Ferdinand & Johann Georg.
It’s thought that Philipp was born around 1664, in Brussels, and that his father, the Scottish painter James de Hamilton, taught he and his Munich-born older brother, Johann Georg, to paint. De Hamilton Sr. did a stellar job with both brothers becoming painters to the court in Vienna.
Both Philipp & Johann became renowned for their strikingly vivid hunting scenes. Phillipp’s scenes mostly featured varying degrees of wild inter-animal violence – although to be fair, the animals aren’t always fighting, sometimes they are waiting to fight, or lost in post-fight reverie, or innocently waiting to be attacked – the calm before and after the storm as it were.
Johann is a bit different to Phillipp. He earns his crust specialising in a more prancing horse based subject matter; prize Imperial Wagenburg Vienna stallions “capering”; and keeping the painting of decapitated-dead-animal-still-life as a little side hustle.
This kind of thing is presumably what the hunting folks at the Viennese court were paying the big bucks for and in the mid-1700s and the De Hamilton brothers and it appears (they painted heaps of this) they were only to happy to take their coin.
The De Hamilton brothers lived out their lives comfortably, painting and perfecting bloodied fur, splayed feathers and that “caught in the headlights” look an animal has in it’s eyes when attacked & those rolling Austrian country under cloudy sky backdrops and over the years they flitted back & forth between Vienna, Munich and the Southern Netherlands.