Leopold Carl Müller
1834 Dresden - 1891 Wien
Leopold Carl Müller began his studies at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1852 - first he attended the preparatory school under Carl Blaas, a year later he switched to Christian Ruben, head of the master class for history painting. At the start of the 1860s, the artist worked as an illustrator for the weekly 'Figaro'. From 1870 he devoted himself exclusively to painting. Travels took him to Hungary and Italy - the latter became an increasingly important destination, Venice, where he stayed with his loyal and admired friend August von Pettenkofen, almost a second home. He discovered southern Italy and Sicily and a little later, in 1874, Egypt. Leopold Carl Müller was interested in the current presence of the Orient, the light, the colours, the atmosphere. His acquaintance with the Prince of Wales opened the doors to London’s art circles, resulting in an exclusive contract with the art dealer Henry Wallis and incredible success. "In the following years, Müller became perhaps the most sought-after painter of Oriental folk life." / H.Zemen. In 1877 he became a professor of history painting at the Vienna Academy; as an Orientalist painter he was a heavyweight on the world market. In 1890 he was elected rector of the Academy, a year later he was awarded the Medal of Honour for Art and Science. His early work comprises dark genre paintings as well as light-flooded, atmospheric landscapes. Despite all the realism of his conception, he also portrayed mood. His artistic goal was depicting the optical as well as the - far more difficult to define - inner truth.
G.Wimmer, Der Orient-Müller, Manuskript, Vienna 1991; H.Zemen, Leopold Carl Müller, Briefe und Dokumente, Vienna 1996; H.Giese, Leopold Carl Müller. Unter südlicher Sonne, in: Parnass, issue 3, Wien 1996, p.48ff; Reference books: Wurzbach, Thieme-Becker, Boetticher