Beneath the large, thatched farm buildings which dominate this watercolour is an idealised scene of domestic tranquillity. A farmer feeds some chickens, watched by three young children by his side, his wife and another child in the door of the farmhouse and a group of docile cows. In the distance, another man leads a group of pigs away to be fed.
Robert Hills was based in London. He trained under the painter and drawing master John Alexander Gresse. Hills exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institution, both in London. He also became a founder member of the Old Water Colour Society and was the Society’s first Secretary, and later Treasurer. He occasionally collaborated on works, painting animals for fellow artists George Barret the Younger, George Fennell Robson and William Henry Pyne. In 1815, Hills visited Waterloo a month after the famous battle, before travelling through Holland and Flanders. He also made several sketching tours through Britain. He painted a number of snow scenes, as well as numerous idealised farm scenes dominated by thatched agricultural buildings.
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