Thursday, March 27, 2014


Woodland Pool

Yesterday's views of Stonehenge included one by the English painter William James Müller (1812-1845). This artist was routinely spoken of in his own lifetime as "the young genius" but died prematurely at the age of 33 and subsequently slipped from cultural memory.



The Avon

Waterside Houses

On the Nile



Eel Pots

I have read three conflicting explanations of Müller's early death, none of which sounds very convincing. Without much elaboration, different writers assert that he died 1) of melancholia  due to inadequate fame; 2) of lead poisoning  from pigments; or 3) of some vague contagion  brought home from a final Middle Eastern painting trip.

All compositions above are watercolors and all  from collections at the Tate.