Alfredo Müller was born in Liverno, Tuscany on 30 June 1869. His father’s family, although living in Italy, had Swiss origin. His grandfather was born in Herisau and had moved to Italy by the time, Müllers father was born. His father, Edouard was a cotton merchant. He studied in Florence at the Academy of Fine Art with Giuseppe Ciaranfi and Michele Gordiani.
In 1888, the family became bankrupt and moved to Paris. It was in Paris where he became acquainted with many of the post impressionists, who had a lasting impression on his work. He is also known to have worked in the same studio as Cezanne and many of his works from the early 19th century show influences of Cezanne’s use of colour, style and technique. During his time in France, he received great fame as an engraver, depicting the Parisian daily life. He became Alfred Müller, a well-known engraver, but was little known as a painter.
He first met artist and model Marguerite Thomann in 1896 in Paris and 12 years later, they married in February 1908. Müller and his wife returned to Italy in 1913, first visiting Sicily with his wife and friend, then settling in Tuscany. In Sicily he painted a number of studies of the local ruins and temples, many of the paintings from 1913-14 are in Sheffield’s collection. Müller was fascinated by light and was inspired by the old temples and ruins in Sicily.
In 1914, he returned to Tuscany and began working in a studio in Florence with his friend Edoardo Gordigiani During this period he painted many of his works from postcards or from sketches he had made with notes of the colours.
Müller stayed in Italy until 1930, before returing to Paris for nine years before his death in February 1939.