Artist biography

Derek HILL b. 1916

Portrait and landscape painter, stage designer and writer. Born 6 December 1916 in Southampton. Studied stage design in Munich, Paris and Vienna 1933–5, and also began to draw from life. Visited Russia and East Asia 1936. Designed sets and costumes for the ballet The Lord of Burleigh at Sadler's Wells 1937. In Paris 1938, gradually abandoned the idea of stage design and began to paint. Worked on a farm in England 1939–45, painting in his spare time. First one-man exhibition at the Nicholson Gallery 1943. Contributed articles to Penguin New Writing, the New Statesman, etc.; designed sets and costumes for Il Trovatore at Covent Garden 1947; organized several exhibitions, including the Degas exhibition for the Edinburgh Festival 1952. Painted in Ireland in 1946 and on a number of subsequent occasions and from 1948 spent much time in Italy, where he was encouraged by Berenson; Art Director of the British School at Rome 1953–4 and 1957–8. Retrospective exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery 1961.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I