Academic Drawings | Non Portrait Drawings and Watercolours



A visiting card from the young artist’s time in Munich. Courtesy of the Staats-Archiv in Altdorf.

The drawings in this section were created largely in Munich, at the Royal Academy, 1881-82 or in Rome whence he went to study in 1883 until the summer of 1884. They vary in quality, showing how the young artist copied engravings, then drew anybody prepared to pose for him and display his developing skills. Some of these drawings he framed and exhibited in the waiting room of his studio in the Sherwood Building in New York.

A photograph of Muller-Ury’s waiting room in the Sherwood, showing framed drawings on the wall to the right.

The watercolours in this section may be dated to the 1890s to early 1900s. Muller-Ury was unfortunately not a gifted watercolourist in the way that some other artists of the fin-de-siecle were gifted (e.g. the American John Singer Sargent being perhaps its supreme exponent). It appears that Muller-Ury used sketchbooks for producing the equivalent of photographic memories of places he knew well in Switzerland and places he had visited in the United States. It seems he sometimes gave these away as presents to family members, and a small number survive in the Muller-Ury Stiftung which he evidently kept as souvenirs. Those known to the editor are listed here.

It should be noted that there is a fairly large number of hasty pencil sketches in the Muller-Ury Stiftung, Hospental, often depicting ideas for portraits (one or two the editor has identified are illustrated in the relevant catalogue entries) but more frequently they are hastily done thumbnails of works of art he had seen. A small number of sketchbooks with a mixed selection of images also survive, which have not been catalogued here, one of which is in the Cantonal Archiv at Altdorf, Switzerland.