William James Muller began drawing at a young age, and by the early 1830s had acquired a reputation for the proficiency of his sketching. Initially apprenticed to James Baker Pyne, Muller's first subjects were the backstreets and surrounding countryside of his home town of Bristol. In 1831, having seen the Rev. James Bulwer's collection of John Sell Cotman drawings, Muller embarked on a sketching tour of Norfolk and Suffolk, and in 1833 he made two visits to Wales. In the same year he was one of the founders of the Bristol sketching club. Adopting some of the stylistic elements of Samuel Prout and John Sell Cotman, Muller was a constant sketcher, preferring rapid to highly finished effects and generally working within in a range of earthy colours. His studio sale took place at Christie's, on the 1st-3rd April 1846.