Hugo Mühlig (1854 -1929) was born in Dresden to a family of artists; his father Meno Mühlig (1823-1873) was an accomplished Landscape and Genre painter, as was his uncle Bernhard Mühlig (1829-1910). He was encouraged to follow suit and received his first artistic training from his father before studying at the Dresden Academy of Art between 1877-1880 under the illustrator Viktor Paul Mohn (1842-1911).
Mühlig was a regular visitor to the artist’s colony at Willingshausen, a picturesque town on the banks of the river Schwalm in the Hesse region of Germany. The surrounding landscape of rolling hills and valleys, with a distinct liquid light, had attracted artists since the 1830s making it one of Europe’s oldest artistic colonies. Mühlig painted the rich variety of the local community; in particular the lives of rural labourers, but also musicians, soldiers, trappers, as well as nannies with their charges. Such compositions are markedly uncontrived, capturing the essence of daily lives that are at once plausible and spontaneous.
He spent much of his latter years in Düsseldorf where he was an influential member of the Free Association of Secessionist Düsseldorf artists.
His works can be found in museums in: Berlin, The New National Gallery; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz Museum; Düsseldorf, The Museum of Art and Kassel, New Gallery.