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    Sale 7435

    British Works on Paper

    21 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 18

    Robert Hills, O.W.S. (1769-1844)

    A farm scene near Hastings, East Sussex

    Price Realised  


    Robert Hills, O.W.S. (1769-1844)
    A farm scene near Hastings, East Sussex
    signed and dated 'R Hills 1819' (lower right) and inscribed and numbered 'No 1 Near Hastings' (on the reverse)
    pencil and watercolour with scratching out, unframed
    19 7/8 x 15 7/8 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm.)

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    By 1800 Robert Hills had joined a Sketching Society that included artists such as James Ward (1769-1859), Samuel Shelley (1750-1808) and W.H. Pyne (1769-1843). They met regularly to sketch at each others houses and sometimes hosted suppers for up to forty other artists, creating an active forum for the discussion of art. Hill's advocacy of watercolours as well as his central role in London's artistic community led him to be one of the ten original artists who assembled on the evening of the 30 November 1804 at the Stratford Coffee House in Oxford Street and founded the ground breaking Society of Painters in Water Colours, later known as the Old Watercolour Society. He was the first Secretary of the Society and later served as Treasurer.

    Hills' flair and skill for animal drawing meant that he often added groups of animals, usually deer, to enliven landscapes by fellow artists such as George Barret, Jun. (1767-1842) and William Andrews Nesfield, O.W.S. (1793-1881). Whilst Hills' pictures focus largely on the animals, the landscape setting is often specific. In 1811 and 1812 he was painting Surrey scenery around Dorking and Box Hill. In 1817 and 1818 he was working around Sevenoaks. His later works depict scenes from around Knole Park, Penshurst Park and the picturesque farmyards of Kent, such as in the present watercolour.

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    London, Royal Academy, 1820, no. 559, as 'View near Hastings'.