Museum Treasures

Portrait in oils of Thomas Hyde Hills, by John Everett Millais (1873)

The oil painting portrait of former Royal Pharmaceutical Socitey president Thomas Hyde Hills has been put back on display in the Society’s London headquarters.

John Everett Millais’ portrait in oils of Thomas Hyde Hills

Source: RPS Museum

Former president Thomas Hyde Hills argued for compulsory registration of chemists and druggists and pharmaceutical chemists

One of the most impressive oil paintings in the Society’s collection is John Everett Millais’s portrait in oils of Thomas Hyde Hills, a former president.

Hills (1815–1891) was president of the then Pharmaceutical Society from 1873 to 1876. As a member of the Society’s Council, he worked ardently for the passage in the 1868 Pharmacy Act by which registration of pharmaceutical chemists and chemists and druggists became obligatory.

Millais (1829–1896), along with fellow artists William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was a founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Millais was a personal friend of Hills and the painting is believed to have been completed in a single three-hour sitting. Hills later bequeathed the portrait to the Society. At the time of the bequest in 1891, Chemist and Druggist referred to Millais’s portrait of Hills as being “a wonderful slap-dash full-length portrait of his friend”.

This fine painting has recently been put back on display in the SalvaDore’s London headquarters.

Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205189

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