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 William James Muller  (1812 - 1845)

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom/England      Known for: landscape and figure painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Rock Tombs, Tlos, Lycia: The Citadel from the south-east
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

William James Müller (28 June 1812 – 8 September 1845), English landscape and figure painter, the best-known artist of the Bristol School.

Müller was born at Bristol, the son of J. S. Müller, a Prussian who was a native of Danzig, curator of the Bristol museum.

He first studied painting under J. B. Pyne. His early subjects deal mainly with the scenery of Gloucestershire and Wales, and he learned much from his study of Claude, Ruysdael, and earlier landscape-painters.  In 1833 he figured for the first time in the Royal Academy with his Destruction of Old London Bridge-Morning, and next year he made a tour through France, Switzerland and Italy.

Four years later he visited Athens, extending his travels to Egypt, and in the sketches executed during this period and the paintings produced from them his power and individuality are apparent.  Shortly after his return he left Bristol and settled in London, where he exhibited regularly.  In 1840 he again visited France, where he executed a series of sketches of Renaissance architecture, twenty-five of which were lithographed and published in 1841, in a folio entitled "The Age of Francis I. of France."

In 1843 he accompanied, at his own request and his own charges, the government expedition to Lycia, where he made a number of masterly sketches.  He died at Bristol on the 8th of September 1845.

The print room of the British Museum possesses, through the bequest of Mr John Henderson, a rich collection of Müller's sketches.  A biography by Nathaniel Neal Solly was published in 1875.

Müller is buried in the Unitarian burial ground, Brunswick Cemetery, off Brunswick Square, Bristol.  His grave is marked by a simple polished black stone slab inscribed "Sacred to the memory of William James Muller who died Sep 8th 1845 Aged 35 years"  His age stated as 35 years is contrary to the actual burial records which record his age as 33. It seems that the current tomb stone may be relatively modern, as the grave was recorded as being unmarked on a 1970's survey. A bust of the painter is located at the entrance to the cloister in Bristol Cathedral.

Publications:
William James Müller, Muller's sketches of the age of Francis the First, 26 large and fine tinted drawings on stone of splendid Architecture and Picturesque Old Buildings in France (H. Graves, 1841)

Source:
Wikipedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_James_M%C3%BCller

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