Around 1855, after reading Ruskin’s influential Modern Painters, John William Hill changed course and adopted a style closer to that of his son, John Henry Hill, a Pre-Raphaelite artist. The elder Hill began to paint watercolors directly from nature, employing a stipple technique of tiny dots of color in place of his previous method of broad washes cohered by an underlying drawing. (Compare Cucumbers with the artist’s earlier Broadway Looking South from Liberty Street, on view in the previous gallery.) The often down-to-earth subjects of Hill’s later work accord well with the Ruskinian precept that the most compelling beauty is found in the most ordinary objects.
John Wilmerding et al., American Art in the Princeton University Art Museum: volume 1: drawings and watercolors,(Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum; New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2004).
"Acquisitions of the Art Museum 1991," Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 51, no. 1 (1992): p. 22-78.
West to Wesselmann: American Drawings and Watercolors from the Princeton University Art Museum (Saturday, October 16, 2004 - Sunday, July 23, 2006)