Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Richard Edward Miller pursued a career as an artist from an early age. After studying at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, he traveled to Paris in 1899 and enrolled at the Académie Julian. Miller was among a group of American artists living and working abroad in France and his reputation grew through regular exhibitions at the Paris Salon According to Marie Louise Kane, “At the same time that he was painting large, impressive canvases for exhibition and sale, Miller created smaller, more intimate works in a surprisingly spontaneous, loosely-brushed manner, such as Sewing By Lamplight. Miller liked working under his studio lights late at night. These lamplit interiors, having the freshness of quick studies, are much in the spirit of Nabi painter Edouard Vuillard’s interiors of the 1890s, in which figures, furniture, and dress flatten into patterned decorative surfaces. …While Miller hadn’t yet gone as far as Vuillard in the flattening of shapes and overall treatment of the canvas as a decorative unit, he surpasses Vuillard in the creation of large abstract areas of streaked, swirling brushwork—reminiscent of Monet’s late work” (A Bright Oasis: The Paintings of Richard E. Miller, New York, 1997, p. 24).