John William Hill

Artist Biography

Son of British engraver John Hill and father of John Henry Hill, J. W. Hill was a celebrated American Pre-Raphaelite artist. Hill relocated to America with his family in 1819 and started his career as an apprentice to his father. The younger Hill’s smooth delineation and detailed accuracy earned him a position with the New York State Geological Survey from 1836–1841; he subsequently created twenty-seven city views while employed by the Smith Bros. of New York. Hill was greatly influenced by John Ruskin’s Modern Painters during the mid-1850s and strove to truthfully recreate nature in his succeeding work. Bolstered by his undeniable talent, the artist soon became a leader of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in America and was President of the Association for the Advancement of Truth in Art in 1863. His works can now be found at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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