Also known as:
John William Hill, son of the engraver John Hill, was born in London and immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of seven, initially residing in Philadelphia and then moving to New York City in 1822, where he served a seven-year apprenticeship to his father. In 1828 Hill began to exhibit work at the National Academy of Design. Five years later he was elected an associate member, and he continued to exhibit fairly regularly there until 1873. He was employed as a topographical artist for the New York State Geological Survey from 1836 to 1841, after which he worked for Smith Brothers, a publishing firm, where he was employed to sketch North America's developing cities.
From the mid-1850s on, Hill was greatly influenced by the tenets of the Pre-Raphaelite movement and devoted himself largely to painting from nature portraying plants, flowers, birds and fruit. A versatile artist, he worked in lithography, aquatint, watercolor and oil. He made detailed pictures directly, many in watercolor and executed in a stipple technique with tiny brushes normally employed for miniatures. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1829 until his death and also at the Brooklyn Art Association from 1862 until his death at the age of 67 during the year 1879.