Millais sketch of Collins

Millais's sketch of Collins


Obituary. Charles Allston Collins

The name of this gentleman, who died on the 9th of April, is associated both with Art and Literature. He was a son of the late William Collins, R.A., and brother of Mr. Wilkie Collins, and was born at Hampstead on January25th, 1828. The atmosphere of his boyhood’s home no doubt inclined him to follow the profession in which his father attained such eminence, but he made figure-painting, and not landscapes, his early study. In 1847 he sent two portraits to the exhibition of the Royal Academy, being his first appearance in the gallery; they were followed in 1848 by ‘The Temptation of Eve’ and ‘Ophelia;’ in 1849 by ‘The Empty Purse;’ in 1S50 by ‘Berengaria’s Alarm for the Safety of her Husband, Richard Cceur de Lion, awakened by the sight of his girdle offered for sale at Rome.’ Subsequent works exhibited by him were, ‘Convent Thoughts’ (1851); ‘May, in the Regent’s Park,’—a single figure, a kind of nun, suggested by a stanza in Keble’s Lyra Innocentium; and ‘The devout Childhood of St. Elizabeth of Hungary’ (1852); a picture without a title, but representing a child tending flowers (1853); ‘A Thought of Bethlehem, part of the Life of Madame de Chantal’ (1854) ; and ‘The Good Harvest of ’54’ (1855); this was his last exhibited work: all of them may be classed under the title of Pre-Raffaellitish productions, of which school, if it may so be called, he was one of the early disciples.

From 1855 Mr. Collins abandoned the practice of painting and embraced literature, contributing stories and essays to Household Words and All the Year Round: his wife, it may be stated, was the younger daughter of the late Charles Dickens. Mr. Collins subsequently wrote several novels, the latest, we believe, being “The Bar Sinister,” and “At the Bar.” — Art-Journal 35 (1873): 177


Last modified 26 June 2020

Obituary added 25 November 2019