Portrait of Rudyard Kipling, by Collier

Portrait of Rudyard Kipling, by Collier
Portrait of Rudyard Kipling, by Collier

The painter John Maler Collier was one of the great portrait painters of his time, and while his paintings of legendary and historical settings in which they often appear are perhaps more appealing women with little clothes and a lot of sensuality. Like for example his famous painting of Lady Godiva.


Kipling portrait after Collier

However, he achieved undoubted prestige as a portrait painter. And in fact many of the great British personalities of the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century posed for him. Something for which he influenced, not only his pictorial ability, but also his family origins, since theCollierwas a renowned lineage of political figures and the world of justice inEngland. So he already had an important series of contacts.

In this way John Collier, throughout his life (1850 – 1934) to bankers, university professors, aristocrats, including King George V, politicians, military, Indian maharajahs and scientists, including the famous Charles Darwin, whose theories on the Evolution of Species were in dispute, and the Collier family were staunch supporters of them.

To get an idea of ​​the importance that this artist attached to portraiture, it is enough to know that he was one of the founding members of theRoyal Society of Portrait Painters, just as he belonged to other academies andartistic societies such as the Royal Institute of Painters. And it is that his work was highly valued, both as a painter and an art theorist, a field in which he published several works throughout his life. That is to say, he became a prominent figure in English culture.

Something that links him to one of the most famous and international portraits of him. We refer to the writer Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936), author of several novels like Kim, as well as hundreds of short stories and famous poems. A character who also achieved much prestige in his time reached the rank of Knight of the Order of the British Empire, although he refused this honor and others of a similar level on several occasions. Just as he also won theNobel Prize for Literatureof 1907. An award that he did accept on this occasion, so that he became the first English author to receive it. Although when Collier portrayed him there was still a long way to go for such success, since it was the year 1891 and by then he was only a fairly well-known short-story writer, journalist and traveler, but he had not yet published his first great work: The Book of Jungle.

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