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Miller, William, Engraver

MILLER, WILLIAM, ENGRAVER (1796-1882), Scottish line-engraver, was born in Edinburgh on the 28th of May 1796. After studying in London under George Cook, a pupil of Basire's, he returned to Edinburgh. He executed plates after Thomson of Duddingston, Macculloch, D. O. Hill, Sir George Harvey, and other Scottish landscapists, but his chief works were his transcripts from Turner. The first of these was the Clovelly (1824), of TheSouthern Coast, a. publication undertaken by George Cook and his brother William B. Cook, to which Miller also contributed the Combe Martin and the Portsmouth. He was engaged on the illustrations of England and Wales, 1827-1838; of The Rivers of France, 1833- 1835; of Roger's Poems, 1834; and very largely on those of The Prose and Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott, 1834. In The Provincial Antiquities and Picturesque Scenery of Scotland, 1826, he executed a few excellent plates after Thomson and Turner. Among his larger engravings of Turner's works may be mentioned "The Grand Canal, Venice"; "The Rhine, Osterprey and Feltzen "; " The Bell Rock "; " The Tower of London "; and " The Shepherd." The art of William Miller was warmly appreciated by Turner himself, and Ruskin pronounced him to be on the whole the most successful translator into line of the paintings of the greatest English landscapist. His renderings of complex Turnerian sky-effects are especially delicate and masterly. Towards the end of his life Miller abandoned engraving and occupied his leisure in the production of water-colours, many of which were exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy, of which he was an honorary member. He resumed his burin, however, to produce two final series of vignettes from drawings by Birket Foster illustrative of Hood's Poems, published by Moxon in 1871. Miller, who was a Quaker, died on the 20th of January 1882.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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