The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Richard Muther, 1860-1909

Nationality: German
Date of Birth: 1860.02.20/25
Place of Birth: Ohrdruf, Saxe-Coburg
Date of Death: 1909.06.28
Place of Death: Wo(umlaut)lfesgund, Silesia


Professor Richard Muther was an art historian.


Muther studied philology, history and art history at Berlin and Leipzig Universities. He became the curator of the Print Room at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich in 1885 and in 1895 was appointed to the chair of art history at the university of Breslau. He was notable for approaching art history with a specific interest in historical context. He produced books on all periods in art, including monographs on Leonardo and Rembrandt, and a critical study of nineteenth century art, Geschichte der Malerei im XIX Jahrhundert (1893-94), which was translated into English in 1895-6. A substantial chapter in this work was devoted to JW.

In 1891 Muther tried to meet up with JW in London in order 'to inform myself more closely about your latest works', but failed. On learning that JW intended to present his etchings from the International Art Exhibition to the Print Room of the Alte Pinakothek in Munich as a gift, he wrote to JW in September 1892. In his letter Muther declared: 'For many years I have been one of the greatest admirers of your elevated art and have often had the opportunity of speaking of your masterpieces in our art journals.' He also at this point requests that JW send him some good photographs of his Harmonies and Nocturnes, along with a photograph of himself, for reproduction within his forthcoming book (#04227).


Muther, Richard, The History of Modern Painting, English translation, 3 vols, London, 1895-96; 'Richard Muther', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 7 February 2003).

The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 2003)