• Dhows on the Nile, Egypt -
    Price on request

    Watercolour over pencil

    13 by 36 cm., 5 by 14 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Bill Thomson, his sale, Sotheby?s, 25th November 1999, lot 56;

    Private collection, UK, until 2011

     

    This dates from M?ller?s tour of Greece and Egypt in 1838-39. He left Bristol in September 1838 and spent six weeks in Athens before continuing to Alexandria in early November. M?ller was excited by the novelty of Egypt since ?`a halo of mystery still lingered around this land of the ancient East?. M?ller was only twenty-six and, with his exceptionally fine eye for colour, light and shade, his imagination must have been fired by everything he saw (see Cyril Bunt, The Life and Work of William James M?ller of Bristol, 1948, p.37).

     

    The crowded streets, exotic costumes and bazaars enthralled M?ller, especially in Cairo, and he subsequently sailed up the Nile as far as Luxor, Karnak and the Valley of the Kings. He returned to Bristol in the Spring of 1839. Two other Nile views by M?ller are in the British Museum (see Greenacre and Stoddard, W.J. M?ller 1812-1845, exhibition catalogue, 1991, nos. 100 and 101, ill.).

  • The Theatre of Xanthus, Lycia -
    Price on request

    Signed lower left: Theatre of Xanthus WM.1843

    Watercolour over pencil, with collector?s mark lower right

    37.4 by 55.7 cm., 14 ? by 21 ? inches

     

    Provenance:

    Thomas George Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook (1826-1904);

    S. Rowland Pierce, his Executors?s sale in these Rooms, 17th October 1968, lot 113, bt. Langham;

    Dr Theodore Besterman, his sale, Christie?s, 14th December 1971, lot 74, bt. Agnew;

    A Deceased Estate sale, Sotheby?s, 25th November 2004, lot 194, bt. by the present owner

     

    Exhibited:

    Brighton Art Gallery, 1962, no.69

     

    This dates from the most important sketching tour of M?ller?s career, in Lycia in modern day Turkey in the winter of 1843-44. He left England with his pupil Harry John Johnson (1826-1884) on 12th September 1843 and after stopping for supplies at Smyrna met up with the archaeologist Sir Charles Fellowes, who had organised the expedition, at the mouth of the river Xanthus. On 1st November they walked the six miles to Xanthus, the ancient capital of Lycia and they remained in the area for three months. M?ller worked constantly, despite the bad weather, and developed a looser more confident style and worked on a larger scale than he had before.

     

    He returned with `one or two hundred drawings? (N. Neal Solly, Memoir of the Life of William Muller, 1875, p.200, letter from M?ller to J. Satterfield, 12th February 1844) which were widely recognised as the finest achievement of his career. They were shown at a meeting of London?s Graphic Society in January 1845 and then not until after his sudden death aged 33, only eighteenth months after his return. They were exhibited at the Bristol Institution, along with other works, before being sold in London. The Bristol Gazette described them thus: `The great characteristic of the sketches is their freedom and spirit ? a bold, comprehensive, almost daring ? and yet most natural ? grasping of the subject?.? (Bristol Gazette, 5th March 1846, p.3). For more on M?ller?s Lycian trip, see Greenacre and Stoddart, W.J. M?ller, exhibition catalogue, 1991, p. 142-145.

     

    This is a view of the remains of Xanthus.  In the foreground is a typical Lycian house tomb where the stone has been hewn to imitate wooden roof beams.  The Roman amphitheatre is behind and probably dates from the 2nd century AD.  It is relatively intact, with only the upper rows of the auditorium missing, having been used as construction material for later buildings.  On the far right is the top of the Pillar tomb, an unusual funeral monument in Lycia, as it is actually two tombs in one and it is likely to date from the 4th or 3rd centuries B.C.

  • The Round Tower at Andernach on the Rhine -
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    Signed with initials lower right: Andernach 1834/wm

    pencil

    44.2 by 29.1 cm., 17 ¼ by 11 ½ inches

     


    Provenance:

    Robert H. Edmondson;

    By descent to T.A. Edmondson;

    With the Sabin Gallery, London;

    With the Motcombe Galleries, London

     


    The `Round Tower’, completed in 1453, is part of the medieval fortifications of Andernach which stands on the Rhine several miles north of Koblenz.



  • The Room of Marie de Medici, Chateau of Blois, France -
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    Signed and dated 1841 lower left

    Watercolour heightened with touches of bodycolour and scratching out

    19.5 by 27.1 cm., 7 ¾ by 10 ½ inches

     

    In the Spring of 1840, Müller was commissioned by Messrs Hodgson and Graves of Pall Mall to produce forty watercolours of French views which related to the Renaissance period of Francis I. Of these forty, twenty-six were to be lithographed for a book `Sketches of the Age of Francis I’. Müller left from Southampton with his pupil Edward Dighton in early June and visited various sites in Normandy reaching Paris on the 17th. After a month there and at Fontainebleau, he visited Orleans, Blois and the Loire valley before returning to England from St Malo in September.  A watercolour of this view was published as plate XIII of `Sketches of the Age of Francis I’ in 1841, but with different figures.

     

    Provenance:

    John Edward Taylor (1830-1905)

     

    Exhibited:

    Leeds City Art Gallery, National Exhibition of Works of Art, 1868, no.15;

    Birmingham, City Museum and Art Gallery, a Loan Collection of Paintings in Oil and Water-colours by William J. Müller, 1896

  • Heidelberg from the banks of the river Neckar, Germany -
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    Signed with initials lower centre: Entrance to Heidelberg 1834 WM. August.

    pencil

    41.7 by 28.2 cm., 16 ¼ by 11 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Robert H. Edmondson;

    By descent to T.A. Edmondson;

    With the Sabin Gallery, London;

    With the Motcombe Galleries, London

     

    This dates from Müller’s seven month tour of the continent with his fellow artist George Arthur Fripp in the summer of 1834 and early 1835. They crossed the Channel in mid July and continued to Cologne. From there, they walked down the banks of the Rhine to Heidelberg which was their first prolonged stop.

  • Bull Paunch Lane, Bristol -
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    Signed lower left: WMuller 1836. and inscribed with title verso

    Black chalk heightened with white on buff paper

    36.9 by 26.1 cm., 14 ½ by 10 ¼ in.

     

    Bull Paunch Lane is now called Lawford St and runs off Old Market. A smaller undated version of this drawing is in Bristol City Art Gallery (see Francis Greenacre and Sheena Stoddard, W.J. Muller, exhibition catalogue, 1991, no.16, p. 64, ill.).

     

  • On the River Lynn, Devon -
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    Signed and dated 1844 lower left

    Watercolour heightened with bodycolour

    330 x 525 mm., 13 x 20 ¾ in.

     

    Provenance:

    With Guy Peppiatt Fine Art, 2005;

    Private Collection, UK

     

    This dates from Müller's visit to Lynmouth in May 1844 with his brother and William West, another artist. He was `charmed with its quiet beauty' (see Cyril G.E. Bunt, The Life and Work of William James Müller of Bristol, 1948, p.47).

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