Alfred Jacob Miller Biography | Oil Paintings

1-2-1810 Baltimore, Maryland USA – 6-26-1874 Baltimore, Maryland USA

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Miller, Alfred Jacob

Alfred Jacob Miller received his first art lessons in his late teens from Thomas Sully. After doing some painting in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., in 1832 with the financial help of his family, he went to Europe to perfect his skills. Alfred Jacob Miller was admitted without charge as an auditor to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He spent considerable time in Paris and the following year he also visited Switzerland, Bologna, and Venice and while in Italy he was admitted to the English Life School.

During these times, he became friends with the Danish and American sculptors, Bertel Thorwaldsen and Horatio Greenough, and the painter Horace Vernet. Alfred Jacob Miller studied technique, color, and line by copying Old Masters in the museums, as was the practice at the time.

He returned to Baltimore in 1834 and opened a small studio, but it was not successful. Looking for a change in fortune, he relocated to New Orleans in 1837, with $30.00 in his pocket (equivalent to $700 today). In New Orleans, he met the Scottish adventurer William Drummond Stewart, who hired Miller to accompany him and record his hunting journey to the Rocky Mountains. That same year, along with representatives of the American Fur Company, they ventured as far as Fort William and Green River in Wyoming.

Back in New Orleans later that year, he started working up his sketches in oils. The scenes and adventures of the hunting journey were the foundations of a series of paintings documenting native American life. In 1838 Miller was able to arrange an exhibition in New Orleans. In 1840 he traveled with his paintings to Stewart's Murthly Castle in Scotland, where a collection of his commissioned work was ultimately hung. After spending a year in Scotland and another in London, Miller returned to Baltimore in 1842. Alfred Jacob Miller established himself as a portrait artist in the city and remained there until his death.

Art Movement: American Western Art.
Artists Influencing Alfred Jacob Miller: Thomas Sully.
He Traveled To France, Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, England.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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