A Grey day off Scarborough, Frank Henry Mason

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William James Muller (1812-1845)

He was born at Bristol, the son of J. S. Müller, a Prussian from Danzig, curator of the Bristol museum. He first studied painting under James Baker Pyne. His early pictures were mostly of the scenery of Gloucestershire and Wales, and he learned much from his study of Claude, Ruysdael, and earlier landscape-painters. In 1833 he exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time, showing Destruction of Old London Bridge-Morning. The next year he made a tour through France, Switzerland and Italy.

In 1838 he visited Athens, and travelled onwards to Alexandria and Cairo, where he spent two weeks before continuing up the Nile to Luxor, where he made drawings of the ruins and landscapes before returning to Cairo in mid-January. Shortly after his return he left Bristol and settled in London, where he exhibited regularly. His scenes of Egyptian streets and market proved especially popular. 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 at the request of the archaeologist Charles Fellows (but at his own expense) Müller and his pupil Harry Johnson accompanied the government expedition to Lycia. He spent three months sketching the landscape and local people around Xanthus, Pinara and Tlos. He spent most of the rest of his life, after his return to England, working on watercolours, and a few oils, of Lycian subjects.

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