Richard Muller Biography

Richard Muller




Richard Müller, painter, illustrator, and educator, was born in the Bohemian city of Tschirnitz, the son of a weaver on Juy 28, 1874. In 1888, at age 14, he began to study and work at the Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory in Meissen, just outside of Dresden. Two years later Müller went to Dresden where he was accepted at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. In 1890, Müller went on his own, without any financial support, to Dresden. Here, although he had not yet reached the required age of entry, he was accepted at the Art Academy as one of the youngest students ever

In 1895, he met artist Max Klinger who introduced him to the art of etching and Müller developed a meticulous technique and symbolist style. In 1900, he was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Exposition and that same year he was appointed to a Professorship at the Dresden Academy where he wielded immense influence on the generation of artists who succeeded the Expressionists. He was the leading light of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement. Amongst his pupils were Otto Dix and Georg Grosz.

Though awarded the Prix de Rome in 1897, Müller abandoned etching after 1924 in favor of rather grimly realistic, often erotic drawings and paintings. He was a prominent professor for 35 years at the Dresden Academy, where his students included Otto Dix and George Grosz. On these he seems to have been influential chiefly in provoking a reaction however, as he steadfastly resisted the waves of expressionism and modernism sweeping Germany early in the century.

In 1933, he became President of the Dresden Academy but in 1935, under the Nazi regime, he was forced out of this position. His popularity waned as a result but there is a new awareness of his work and reputation as an important influence in the first half of the 20th Century. Müller's etchings are again highly collectable.

Richard Müller died in Dresden, Germany November 18, 1954.