- Also known as
primary name: Hills, Robert
- individual; painter/draughtsman; British; Male
- Life dates
- Upper Grafton Street, Fitzroy Square, London
- Watercolour artist and etcher, mainly of rural subjects and landscape. Entered RA schoools in 1788, exh at RA 1791, in 1804 one of six founders of the Old Watercolour Society (first secretary and later treasurer) and exhibited almost 600 drawings there during lifetime. A huge collection of his prints, formed by Hills himself, was presented to the BM by Mrs Garle (q.v.) in 1861 (1861,0209.364 to 1604); at the sale at Christie's after his death, the British Museum purchased a number of works (Christie's 19.iii.1850, lots 33, 52, 148, 151; now 1850,0413.1 to 31). More of his prints were subsequently acquired by purchase or gift.
He used 'Natural Short-hand' for notes on his drawings, a system invented by Holdsworth and Aldridge in 1766. A number of the works acquired in 1876 were once attributed to Joshua Cristal but are now thought to be by Hill.
Nicola Gauld, 'The field calls me to labour', Watercolours of 19th century rural Britain by Robert Hils (1769-1844) and his contemporaries', exhibition, Fitzwilliam Museum, May-Sept., 2008 (copy of leaflet kept in dossier on Hill)
Maureen Lambourne, 'A Watercolourist's Countryside: the art of Robert Hills', Country Life, no 1944 (1968)
Iolo Williams, 'Robert Hills (1769-1844), Burlington Magazine, Feb. 1945, pp. 39-44