Alfred Jacob Miller


Alfred Jacob Miller


Baltimore, Maryland


Trapper-Indian genre, portrait, mountain landscapes

Alfred Jacob Miller became the first American artist of consequence to paint the Rocky Mountains and was the only artist to chronicle figures of the legendary fur trade during its height.  Although he portrayed Indian subjects, he was not especially interesting in realistic depictions but romanticized his subjects, comparing the Indians of the West to Greek sculpture figures.

He was encouraged to draw by his parents, and had local training in Baltimore and studied portraiture in Philadelphia from 1831 to 1832 with Thomas Sully.  He studied in France from 1833 to 1834 and Italy at the English Life School in Rome.  Returning to Baltimore, he opened a studio, but it was not successful.