1869 – 1939

Born in Livorno 30th June 1869 from a family of wealthy Swiss cotton merchants, studied with Giuseppe Ciaranfi and Michele Gordigiani in Florence. In 1886 exhibited with Fattori, Achille Lega and Tommasi in the first exposition of Belle Arti in Livorno. In 1888 he and his family moved to Paris, where he studied first with François Flameng until 1892 and later with Carolus-Duran. Müller remained in Paris until the outbreak of the First World War, taking French citizenship in 1913. He worked in the countryside at Barbizon, Suresnes and elsewhere, but also made frequent visits to his native country, where he exhibited regularly in Florence with the Promotrice Fiorentine. His early work was indebted to Fattori and Plinio Nomellini, but he soon became interested in the Impressionists and was credited by the critic Mario Tinti with introducing the luminism of Monet into Italian art.

Müller was a member of the Société des Artistes Indépendents and exhibited regularly in the Paris dealer George Petit’s annual exhibitions of colour prints. He made his first print in 1896, a lithographic portrait of the poet Paul Verlaine in the Café Procope. The following year Müller made his first colour aquatints. Among them were a series of illustrations to Dante’s Divine Comedy. In style his etchings and aquatints were influenced by Manuel Robbe. Very occasionally he combined drypoint or soft ground etching with aquatint. Müller’s principal publisher was Pierrefort, who also issued prints by Toulouse-Lautrec.

After 1903 he largely abandoned aquatint for pure etching. Fourteen of his colour etchings were reproduced over a number of months in the weekly magazine ‘Le Courrier français’. Müller also made a small number of colour lithographs, some of which were published by the Parisian print dealer Sagot. A single monotype of Mallarmé done in 1911, thirteen years after the poet’s death in 1898, is recorded. Müller made a few landscape prints and a couple of etchings of fishing boats, but his principal subject was young women in long dresses. Often there is an aura of fin-de-siècle wistfulness. When he returned to Italy, he lived first in Taormina, then in Florence, and finally settled in a villa at Settignano. Müller largely abandoned printmaking after 1914.

Only three more prints by him made in 1920, 1925 and 1933 are recorded after he moved back to his native country. Müller was a regular exhibitor in Florentine exhibitions, the most significant of which was the 1922 Primaverile Fiorentina. He returned to France in 1930 where he died in 1939