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Lot 252: Robert Antoine Müller (fl.1872-1881)

Est: £40,000 GBP - £60,000 GBP
Christie'sJune 08, 2006London, United Kingdom

Item Overview


The Johnston Children
signed 'Robert A. Müller' (lower right)
oil on canvas
44 x 60 1/4 in. (111.8 x 153 cm.)

Artist or Maker


This highly-realised portrait, the Victorian attention to detail alleviated with just a hint of belle epoque swagger, is an impressive testament to the skill of this little-known painter. Previous works appearing at auction have been genre pieces depicting 18 t h century romantic tableaux, which pay tribute to the work of French masters such as Fragonard. Like The Johnston Children, they are characterised by a careful rendition of background context. However it was as a portraitist that Müller made his name; in 1881 his three portraits of the children of H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh were exhibited together at the Royal Academy. His portrait of Gerald Wellesley, 7 t h Duke of Wellington, after the original by German artist Heinrich Von Angeli, hung in Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.
In 1877, the artist was commissioned to paint the present picture by Edward Johnston, who had left for South America and founded the E. Johnston & Co. Ltd. coffee company in Brazil in 1842. (His company merged with the still extant Marcellino Martins in the 1930s). He and his wife Henrietta had 14 children, some of whom: Jim, Alex, Violet Mary, Harriet Monica and Caroline Margaret, are depicted here, in the grounds of their house near Sidmouth in Devon.

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Auction Details

Victorian & Traditionalist Pictures

June 08, 2006, 12:00 AM EST

8 King Street, St. James's, London, LDN, SW1Y 6QT, UK