NPG Number
967
Mkey
1409
Sitter/Title
Wilkie Collins
Qualifier
by
Artist(s)
SirJohnEverettMillais,1stBt
Date made
1850
Medium
oil on panel
Credit line
© National Portrait Gallery, London
wilkie collins

1409

967

Wilkie Collins

by

Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Bt

1850

oil on panel

© National Portrait Gallery, London

On 25 August 1894 {George Scharf|mp3993}, the Director of the Gallery, wrote to Millais, who was then a Trustee of the Gallery, to say how sad he was that he had not been able to attend the meeting on the previous Thursday when the trustees had acquired Millais' portrait of Carlyle. He added that, 'Curiously enough, at the last moment before the meeting, a small portrait of Wilkie Collins attributed also to your pencil, was submitted to the Trustees. It represents Collins with a tremendous forehead, wearing spectacles and the face turned in three-quarters to the spectator's left. His raised hands are joined, palm to palm and fingers very flexible. Do you remember painting such a portrait?' Millais did indeed remember it, particularly the great bump on the sitter's forehead, but was more concerned by the discolouration owing to the 'nasty brown varnish'. It is an atmospheric portrait, intense and private, as befitted the author of The Woman in White' and The Moonstone.