William James Müller was born in Bristol, the son of a Prussian émigré, naturalist and curator. At 15 he was apprenticed to James Baker Pyne. He also sketched with a local curate. Müller travelled widely, visiting Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Egypt, Greece, France and Turkey. His work includes watercolours of the Bristol riots, views of the Acropolis and illustrations for the publication ‘Müller’s Sketches of the Age of Francis 1st'. He is best known for depicting the monuments of the Near East. He also made sketching trips along the Thames and to Somerset and Rowen, North Wales. In 1839 he settled in Bloomsbury and joined a group of artists called the Clipstone Street Academy. His health declined rapidly from 1844 and he died aged just 33.
Collection of J. Leslie Wright; collection of actor and art collector Gilbert Davis (1899-1983) (and on loan to the Ministry of Works from 1952); from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in July 1964
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