John Collier by Marion Collier (née Huxley), oil on canvas, 1882-83
The Honourable John Maler Collier OBE RP ROI (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.
Collier was from a talented and successful family. His grandfather, John Collier, was a Quaker merchant who became a Member of Parliament. His father (who was a Member of Parliament,Attorney General and, for many years, a full-time judge of the Privy Council) was created the first Lord Monkswell. He was also a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. John Collier’s elder brother, the second Lord Monkswell, was Under-Secretary of State for War and Chairman of the London County Council.
In 1889 Collier married Mady’s younger sister Ethel Huxley. Until the Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act 1907 such a marriage was not possible in England, so the ceremony took place in Norway. By his second wife he had a daughter and a son, Sir Laurence Collier, who was the British Ambassador to Norway 1941–51.
As you will see, Mr. Collier definitely had an eye for the ladies, and unlike many of his contemporaries actually seemed to find attractive models for his work. Enjoy!