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James Collinson, 1825–1881
Mother and Child by a Stile, with Culver Cliff, Isle of Wight, in the Distance
Former Title(s):

A Mother and Child on the Isle of Wight, c.1850

Mother and Child [1865, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]
1849 to 1850
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on panel
20 3/4 x 16 5/8 inches (52.7 x 42.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
beach | bonnet | child | cliff | daughter | floral pattern | flowers (plants) | genre subject | girl | mother | shawl | shawls | shore (structural element) | stile (stair) | tree | woman
Associated Places:
England | Isle of Wight | United Kingdom
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

James Collinson was an early associate of the Pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood, which formed in 1848. He was formally invited to join in 1849 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, his fellow classmate at the Royal Academy Schools. At that time, Collinson had converted to Catholicism but, finding it an obstacle to marrying the poet Christina Rossetti, he became Anglican again in 1849. The next year, however, he reverted to Catholicism, broke off his engagement, renounced the Brotherhood, and quit painting entirely for several years. This painting belongs to that troubled time during his engagement and was made on a visit to the Isle of Wight in 1849. Collinson’s investment in recording the minutest details of this landscape, from the foreground plants to the background coastline, reflects his interest in Pre-Raphaelite ideas of “truth to nature.” The woman’s features bear a strong resemblance to those of Christina Rossetti, although the precise narrative of this subject has not been identified.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Imaginative Geographies (Yale Center for British Art, 2006-02-01 - 2006-08-18) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Painting in England 1700-1850 - From The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (Yale University Art Gallery, 1965-04-15 - 1965-06-20) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 56-57, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Helen D Newman, James Collinson (aka "The Dormouse"), Reuben Books, Foulsham, p. 100, NJ18.C69854 N49 2016 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Susan Owens, Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, p. 56, cat. 2.12, PR5238 .C475 2018 (LC) (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p. 37 (v.1), no. 127, N5220.M45 R69 1964 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Catalogue of fine English and eighteenth and nineteenth century drawings and paintings : 15 July 1964, Sotheby's, London, July 15, 1964, p. 27, Lot 79, Auction Catalogues (YCBA) [YCBA]

Allen Staley, The Pre-Raphaelite Landscape, Clarendon Press, New Haven, 2001, pp. 103, 104, pl. 74, ND1354.5 S82 2001 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Yale Center for British Art, Selected paintings, drawings & books, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1977, p. 48, N590.2 A82 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Yale University Art Gallery, Painting in England, 1700-1850, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon : [exhibition at] Yale University Art Gallery, April 15-June 20, 1965, , vol. 1, W. Clowes and sons, New Haven, 1965, pp. 5-6 (v.1), no. 21, ND466 Y35 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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