Thomas Hill was born in England in 1829, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1844. His
formal art studies were at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. In the 1850, Hill often painted in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with artists such as Albert Bierstadt, George Innes, and Asher Durand.
Fleeing the harsh winters of the East, Hill moved to California in 1861, setting up a studio in San Francisco. Hill enjoyed strong success in San Francisco, especially after taking on Yosemite as his
subject. Hill built a studio in Yosemite in 1883 and painted prolifically.
During this time his works were very much in demand and commanding tremendous prices. Like Bierstadt in the East, Hill lost
favor with American tastes which, by the mid-1890 viewed his works as old fashioned.
A series of strokes debilitated Hill, beginning in 1896, and his death in 1908 in believed to have been a suicide.