‘The Fisherman’s Daughters’
Oil on panel 9.5″ x 8”
James John Hill RBA
James John Hill was a painter of landscapes, rustic genre and portraits but more widely known for his fantasy subjects of pretty smiling peasant or fishergirls, either singly or in groups with landscapes or seascape backgrounds.
‘The Fisherman’s Daughters’ is a beautiful study of two sister’s eagerly awaiting their father’s return from a fishing trip. The elder is already helping in the ‘family business’, fishing nets over her arm and fishing bag and tackle by her side, while the younger sister leans dreamingly on her shoulder, flowers adorning her hair, seemingly without the concern of her elder sister. The sea can be seen in the backgroud with a flock of seagulls flying over the water.
James John Hill was born in Birmingham, where he studied before coming to London in 1839. He exhibited at the British Institution, being elected a member in 1842 and also at the Royal Academy 1854-1868. He enjoyed considerable success during his lifetime and one of his patrons was Lady Burdett-Coutts, for whom he painted many portraits, animal and dog studies. He frequently visited Ireland, inspiring him to paint his coastal scenes with fisherfolk at work on the beaches – mending nets, fishing, collecting cockles and oysters.
James John Hill’s pictures were often reproduced lithographically for the Illustrated London News. He sometimes colaborated with the artist Henry Bright (1814-1873), painting the figures in his landscapes.