by Edward Collier
oil on canvas, 1683
17 1/2 in. x 20 3/4 in. (444 mm x 528 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Edward Collier (circa 1642-1708), Painter. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist of 1 portrait.
Artistback to top
- Edward Collier (circa 1642-1708), Painter. Artist of 1 portrait, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
This self-portrait shows him at work in his studio, surrounded by books, drawings, plaster casts and a skull, a common symbol of death. It both advertises his skills and – unlike the self-portraits of most of his contemporaries in England – draws attention to the practicalities involved in making paintings.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 15 Read entry
This delightful small oil depicts Edward Collier alone in his studio, sporting an informal silken gown. He came to England in 1693, specialising in covetable still-life trompe l’œil paintings. Here he invites us to visit his realm and view his collection of props: a skull, a chest, drawings, sculpture and books, items that he would have recycled in his works. Objects such as these remind us of the transience of life, and are familiar symbols in Vanitas painting.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 136
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1683back to top
Current affairsRye House Plot, a conspiracy to murder the king and his heir, James, Duke of York, is leaked to the government by minor conspirator, Josiah Keeling. Arrests follow; some conspirators are executed, others pardoned while several flee the country.
Worst ever recorded frost in England freezes the Thames.