Hill, John William (1812-1879)
John William Hill, or often J.W. Hill (1812-1879), was a British born American artist working in watercolor, gouache, lithography, and engraving. Hill’s work focused primarily upon natural subjects including landscapes, still life, and ornithological and zoological subjects. In the 1850s, influenced by John Ruskin and Hill’s association with American followers of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, his attention turned from technical illustration toward still life and landscape.
Hill was the son of British aquatint engraver John Hill. He emigrated with his parents from London to the United States in 1819, initially living in Philadelphia. In 1822 the family moved to New York, where Hill apprenticed in aquatint engraving in his father’s shop. In 1838 Hill married Catherine Smith; their children included the astronomer George William Hill and the painter John Henry Hill.