Miller, Johann Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Von

Miller, Johann Christian Friedrich Wilhelm von a noted German engraver of sacred subjects, was born at Stuttgard in 1782. He was carefully educated by his father, Johann Gotthard (see below), in all those branches of the arts which, by his own experience, he knew to be requisite to constitute an excellent engraver; and in 1802 went to complete his studies at Paris, where at that time the majority of the finest works of art in Europe were collected together in the Louvre. Here, in 1808, Miiller engraved the St. John about to write his Revelation, after Domenichillo, in which the eagle brings him his pen; and Adam and Eve under the Tree of Life, after Raphael. He was commissioned shortly afterwards by Rittner, a printseller of Dresden, to engrave his last and greatest work, the Madonna di San Sisto of Raphael, in the Dresden Gallery. He was wholly occupied for the remainder of his short life on this plate, which he just lived to complete, but he never saw a finished print from it. He removed to Dresden in 1814. and was appointed professor of engraving in the academy there. His existence seems almost to have been wrapped up in the execution of this plate: he was occupied with it day and night, and, always of a sickly constitution, the infallible result of such constant application and excitement soon made its appearance. He was, however, in vain advised to desist for a while from his work. He completed the plate and sent it to Paris to be printed; but with his plate the artificial excitement which supported him departed also; he had just strength enough left to admit of his being carried to the Sonnenstein, near Pirna, where he died in 1816, only a few days before the proof of his plate arrived from Paris. It was suspended over the head of his bier as he lay dead, thus reminding one of the similar untimely fate of the great master of the original, above whose head, as he lay in state, was hung also his last work, The Transfiguration. Muller engraved only eighteen plates, but the Madonna di San Sisto is in itself a host, and exhibits him at least the equal of Raphael Morghen, to whose Transfiguration it serves as a good pendant. There are several lithographic copies of it. An index of his plates and those of his father was published by Andresen at Leipsic in 1865. At Harvard College there are nineteen fine copies of his plates in the "Gray Collection." See Nagler, Allgenmeines Kunstler-Lexikon, s.v.; Spooner, Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, s.v.

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