James John Hill RBA (1811-1882)
Oil on panel. Signed ‘J J Hill’.
A Painter of landscape, rustic genre and portraits. Born in Birmingham, where he studied. James John Hill came to Highgate, London in 1839.
This touching portrait of Mother and sleeping child is a sumptuous blend of delicately sensuous colour. It speaks of golden afternoons in the warm sunshine and the gentle love between Mother and child. This beautiful work treats the peasant woman and her child with all the respect and admiration awarded to the Madonna and Child: she is Hill’s Rustic Madonna, skilfully painted with gentleness and warmth.
Hill exhibited mainly at Suffolk Street, but also at the Royal Academy, (1845-68), and the British Institution. He was elected a Member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1842. JJ Hill’s patroness was Lady Burdett-Coutts, for whom he painted many portraits, animal and dog studies. His later work often depicted peasant girls against landscape backgrounds. He visited Ireland frequently. Hill’s pictures were often reproduced lithographically for the Illustrated London News. He sometimes painted figures for Henry Bright.