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Marion Collier's intriguing portrait of her artist husband, John Collier, shows him, brush between his teeth, in the act of painting a portrait of her. The portrait of Marion on John's easel is probably based on the one in the Gallery's Collection (NPG 6032), although the image has been reversed and the details of her dress are different. Marion's portrait of John was a great talking point when it was first exhibited as 'An Artist at Work' at London's fashionable Grosvenor Gallery in the summer of 1883. Aside from the unusual nature of the work, Marion and John must themselves have seemed a fascinating and attractive couple. Both were from interesting backgrounds and part of a distinctive social and intellectual milieu. Up-and-coming young artists, they both had other works in that year's Grosvenor exhibition.
oil on canvas
H 127.1 x W 108 cm
Purchased with help from the Art Fund, 2007