William Collins

Prawn Fishing

1828, exhibited 1829

Medium
Oil paint on mahogany
Dimensions
Support: 435 x 584 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Robert Vernon 1847
Reference
N00352

Display caption

Prawn Fishing was inspired by Collins’s trip to the Isle of Wight in 1827. Although it was painted entirely in his London studio, Collins’s handling of the landscape still retains the freshness of his outdoor oil sketches. This can be attributed to a resolution he made after the artist Sir William Beechey criticised his slow working practice. Collins resolved to paint with ‘less timidity and anxiety; as nothing can replace the want of that vigour and freshness, which things done quickly (with a constant reference to Nature) necessarily possess’.

Collins was the father of the novelist Wilkie Collins.

Gallery label, September 2004

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