Under the midday Sun
  • Richard Müller
  • Tschirnitz / Bohemia 1874 -1954 Dresden
  • Under the midday Sun, 1915
  • Black chalk and pencil, partly smeared, framing lines with pencil, on an old mount
  • signed, dated and entitled with pencil on the lower right: Rich. Müller Aug. 1915 / In der Mittagssonne
  • 546 × 386 mm
Munich 1919: Münchner Kunstausstellung, Glaspalast, Nr. 64 Münchner Sezession (following labels and inscriptions on the old mount)

The great talent Richard Müller was recognized and promoted at an early age, even in 1888 when he was in the porcelain manufacturing school in Meissen and two years later as a student at the Academy in Dresden. At the mere age of 20, Müller was the youngest exhibitor of the Dresden Secession; even Max Klinger accepted him favourably into his circle. Several years later, Richard Müller himself acceded as director of the Academy, which he was forced to give up only because of pressure from the Nazis – even though he actually sympathised with the new holders of power.

On the long list of his students appear names that later became very famous, like George Grosz, Bernhard Kretzschmar, Richard Scheibe, and Otto Dix. Richard Müller himself represented a Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity), which he mostly distorted and populated with idiosyncratic animals. The animals that appear on this sheet – the marabou stork, armadillo, and porcupine – feature in many of his drawings as important protagonists in his thematic vocabulary.

Four years later, Richard Müller transposed this large sheet, without any changes, into a relatively small edition of inverted etchings1. The existence of this preparatory sketch was not yet known, however, when Corinna Wodarz’s catalogue raisonné of Richard Müller appeared in 20022. The picture’s motif is strongly reminiscent of Max Klinger’s (1857-1920) painting Eine Gesandtschaft from 18823, and attests once more how important this role model became for Richard Müller, both stylistically and thematically. The ever-present dialogue between woman and animal in his work would have been hardly conceivable, for instance, without Klinger’s ground-breaking surrealism.

  1. Richard Müller: In der Mittagssonne, 1919, etching, 527 x 360 mm, 17 and 85 impressions.
    see: Rolf Günther: Richard Müller, Leben und Werk mit dem Verzeichnis der Druckgraphik, Dresden 1995, no. 96
  2. Corinna Wodarz: Symbol und Eros, die Bildwelt Richard Müllers (1874-1954), including the catalogue raisonné, Göttingen 2002
  3. Max Klinger: Eine Gesandtschaft, 1882, oil on wood, signed and dated, 37 x 63 cm, Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig, inv. no. 1297