American painter Alfred Jacob Miller was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He took his first art classes under American portrait painter Thomas Sully. By his early 20s, Miller traveled overseas to Europe where he studied at Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He also went to Italy, where he studied the old masters at the English Life School. He developed his technique by copying Old Masters in the museums.
By 1834, he returned to the United States and set up a studio in his home town of Baltimore. Within three years he decided to relocate to New Orleans to see if his work could fare better. While living in New Orleans, Alfred Miller met Sir William Drummond Stewart, an explorer who invited him to travel to the Rocky Mountains with him and record the trip. Inspired by the landscape of the American West, Alfred Miller began incorporating the mountains and Native American scenery into his paintings with oil.
Miller continued to travel overseas to London and to Scotland and returned to Baltimore in his later years and an established Portrait painter. His paintings can now be viewed in the Dallas Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, and the Archives of American Art. Alfred Jacob Miller passed away at the age of 64 in his hometown of Baltimore.