HILTON, WILLIAM (1786-1839), English painter, was born in Lincoln on 3d June 1786, son of a portrait-painter, who was probably his first instructor. In 1600 he was placed with the engraver J. R. Smith, and about the same time began studying in the Royal Academy School. He first exhibited in this institution in 1803, sending a group of Banditti ; and, though he could not be called a popular artist, be soon established a reputation for choi:2 of subject, and qualities of design and colour superior to the great mass of his contemporaries. He made a tour in Italy along with Thomas Phillips, the portrait-painter. In 1814, having exhibited Miranda and Ferdinand with the Logs of Wood, he was elected an associate of the Academy, and in 1820 a full academician, his diploma-picture representing Ganymede. In 1823 he produced Christ crowned with Thorns, a large and important work, which has lately been bought by the Academy out of the Chantrey Fund ; this may be regarded as his masterpiece, displaying all the qualities which go to make up pictorial propriety and efficiency, though it does not entitle Hilton to the praise of original genius. In 1825 he succeeded Fuseli as keeper of the Academy ; and lie died in London on 30th December 1839, a widower without children. Some of his best pictures remained on his hands at his decease, - such as the Angel releasing Peter from Prison (life-size), painted in 1831, Una with the Lion entering Coreeca's Cave (1832), the Murder of the Innocents, his last exhibited work (1838), Collins, and Amphitrite. The National Gallery now contains Edith finding the Body of Harold (1834), Cupid Disarmed, Rebecca and Abraham's Servant (1829), and Sir Calepine rescuing Serena (from the Faerie Queen) (1831). Hilton's excellence as an artist is relative to the state of art in his country at the time. In a great school or period he could certainly not count as more than a respectable subordinate ; but in the British school of the earlier part of this century he had sufficient elevation of aim and width of attainment to stand conspicuous and praiseworthy, and, comparatively speaking, above the level of mediocrity.