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'The Music of Dawn' depicts a golden priestess dressed in flowing drapery and holding a pilgrim's staff, standing on the seashore. Collins believed that we are all pilgrims on a journey back to the Paradise that we once knew, and that one of the functions of art was to help us on this journey. From the 1960s onwards Collins painted grand images of angels as spiritual messengers of light and love. Here a golden light suffuses the scene as the dawn approaches. As well as being one of the last pictures that Collins painted, 'The Music of Dawn' was also one of the largest canvases of his last years.

August 2004