(b London, 18 Sept. 1788; d London, 17 Feb. 1847). English painter. He was initially taught by Morland (of whom his father, a picture dealer, wrote a biography) and specialized in sentimental rustic landscapes and genre scenes that won him great popularity. As with Morland, his work became very repetitive. He was a lifelong friend of Wilkie, after whom he named his elder son, the novelist Wilkie Collins, who published a biography of his father in 1848.
His second son was Charles Allston Collins (b Hampstead, Middlesex [now in London], 25 Jan. 1828; d London, 9 Apr. 1873), a friend of Millais and painter of the well-known Convent Thoughts (1851, Ashmolean Mus., Oxford), which John Ruskin rated highly because of its botanical detail, done in a fastidious Pre-Raphaelite manner. Tall and handsome but dismally lacking in self-confidence and plagued by emotional problems, Collins abandoned painting in 1858 and took up writing, publishing three novels among other works. In 1860 he married Charles Dickens's younger daughter, Kate.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)