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Yellow Blossom

John William Hill

American Art

After reading John Ruskin’s Modern Painters in the 1850s, Hill embraced Ruskinian aesthetic principles and became the first president of the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art, the organization of the American Pre-Raphaelites. Hill’s commitment to exacting representations of nature is evident in his landscapes and botanical still lifes, such as this close-up study of a squash blossom. With fine brushstrokes, he articulated even the most minute details of petal creases and stem fuzz.
MEDIUM Transparent and opaque watercolor over graphite with gum varnish on beige, thick, slightly textured wove paper
DATES ca. 1856–1857
DIMENSIONS 8 7/8 x 9 3/8 in. (22.5 x 23.8 cm)
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed in pencil at lower left: "Painted from nature by J. W. Hill / about 1856 or 7"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard L. Milberg
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
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