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John Miller, a Liverpool tobacco merchant of Scottish descent and of no particular wealth, was an eclectic and eccentric collector of paintings known best for his sizeable group of works by British landscape artists, including J M W Turner and his patronage of London and Liverpool-based Pre-Raphaelites. His collection, which according to the Pre-Raphaelite Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893) filled his house through to the kitchen, also included a few Dutch landscapes, two paintings by the Spanish artist Morales (about 1520-1586) and a watercolour by the Spaniard Mariano Fortuny (1838-1874). John Miller was unable to keep his vast collection together and would periodically sell when he thought the market was right. Christie’s held a sale of Miller’s collection on 21 June 1851 and 20/22 May 1858. His posthumous sale was held on 4-6th of May 1881 by Branch & Leete of Liverpool. (1)
1. Anne MacPhee, Riches into Art. Liverpool Collectors 1770-1880, essays in honour of Margaret T. Gibson, edited by Pat Starkey, Liverpool University Press, 1993, pages 54-66.
John Miller, Liverpool, c. 1860
Private collection, to 2010