Johann-Georg de Hamilton was the son of the Scottish still life painter James Hamilton, and the brother of two other artists, Philipp Ferdinand and Karl Wilhelm. Born in Brussels, the three younger Hamiltons spent their careers as painters in the courts of Central Europe, with Johann-Georg working as Hofmaler for the Fürsten Liechtenstein and Schwarzenburg as well as spending time at the court of Berlin and in the service of Kaiser Karl VI at Luxembourg. The brothers all specialized in animal and still life subjects; Johann-Georg was particularly known for his representations of horses, often jumping or rearing, as is the present one.
What is perhaps most interesting about the present work is the representation of a man in exotic costume leading a horse draped in a tiger skin. There existed a lengthy history of exchange between Europe and the East, with examples including the trade relationship between Venice and Turkey and the seventeenth-century ambassadors sent by the Sultan of Morocco and the King of Siam to the French court at Versailles: Artists such as Antoine Coypel, Rubens, and Jan Vermeyen all experimented with such 'orientalist' elements. Hamilton, working in the courts, may well have been aware of such developments and, in turn, his paintings, hanging in museum collections across central Europe, may have been known to later painters interested in the same themes.