The Honourable John Maler Collier (27 January
1850 – 11 April 1934) was a leading English artist, and an author. He painted
in the Pre-Raphaelite style, and was one of the most prominent portrait
painters of his generation. Both his marriages were to daughters of Thomas
Henry Huxley. He studied painting at the Munich Academy where he enrolled on
14 April 1875 (Register: 3145) at the age of 25.
Sixteen of John Collier's paintings are now in the collections of the National
Portrait Gallery in London, and two are in the Tate Gallery. Four of the National
Portrait Gallery paintings are currently (December 1997) on display: John Burns,
Sir William Huggins, Thomas Huxley (the artist's father in law) and Charles Darwin
(copies of the last two are also prominently displayed at the top of the staircase
at the Athenaeum Club in London).
A 1907 self-portrait has been preserved in the Uffizi in Florence which
presumably commissioned it as part of its celebrated collection of artists’
Other pictures may be seen in houses and institutions open to the public: a
large and striking painting of the murderess Clytemnestra is in the Guildhall
Gallery of the City of London. The 'Death Sentence' was given by the widow of the
artist to Wolverhampton Art Gallery. His portrait of the Earl of Onslow (1903), is
at Clandon Park, Surrey (National Trust). His full-length portrait of Sir Charles
Tertius Mander, first baronet, is at Owlpen Manor, Gloucestershire, with another
version in the collection of the National Trust at Wightwick Manor.
Reproductions of many others, from various collections, may be consulted in the
John Collier box in the National Portrait Gallery Heinz Archive and Library, and a
very good selection is published in The Art of the Honourable John Collier by W.H.
Pollock (1914). His work was also included in the Great Victorian Pictures
exhibition mounted by the Arts Council in 1978 (catalogue, p27).