Cecil Collins
The Artist’s Wife Seated in a Tree 1976

Artwork details

Cecil Collins 1908–1989
The Artist’s Wife Seated in a Tree
Date 1976
Medium Tempera on board
Dimensions Support: 600 x 490 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by Elisabeth Collins, the artist's widow, through the Art Fund 2001
Not on display

Display caption

Collins met his wife, Elizabeth Ramsden, when he was studying at the Royal College of Art. They married in 1931 and for the next sixty years she became the most important influence on his life and art. She often appears in his work as the angel or ‘anima’, representing the inner self.

In this unusual image Collins shows his wife sitting in a tree, holding in her hand a trophy symbolising eternity. The bird nesting beside her represents freedom, and possibly indicates the artist’s awareness of the emerging powers and rights of women in society.

February 2004

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