Rowland Frederick Hilder OBE was an English marine, landscape artist, and book illustrator. He was born in New York to Roland and Kitty Hilder. Following the outbreak of World War 1, Hilder's English father decided in 1915 to return to his native county of Kent England to enlist in the army.
Hilder studied at Goldsmiths' College, in south London where he met botanical artist Edith Blenkiron. They married and had two children. As a student with little money he cycled into Kent and discovered the Shoreham Valley in the North Downs where he was delighted to sketch the same barn drawn by the visionary painter Samuel Palmer in the 1820s. This interest in the countryside began a lifelong passion for drawing landscapes in both pencil and watercolour, initially of Kent, "The Garden of England", and the Thames with its sailing vessels and old buildings.
Hilder was commissioned by Oxford University Press to illustrate books. His decorative end papers and black and white drawings of "Treasure Island" in 1929 won him The Times illustrators award. In the 1930s he illustrated several books.