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This painting was one of relatively few produced in the middle of Collins's career. It was made while she was staying alone at Cagnes-sur-Mer in the South of France. The melancholic Prince of Aquitaine is a fictional character who appears in Gerard de Nerval's poem El Desichado and reappears at the end of TS Eliot's The Wasteland. Her Collins paints the prince's features and downward gaze with long loose brushstrokes which accentuate his elongated face and solemn expression. De Nerval described this character as, 'the shadowy one - the widower - the unconsoled/ The prince of Aquitaine whose tower has been destroyed'.

September 2004