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Oil painting - Stray Rabbits

Stray Rabbits

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    England, Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1857 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Collinson, Robert, born 1832 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on millboard

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Robert Collinson (1832- after 1890) was a student at the Government School of Design, Manchester. He first exhibited at the Royal Institution, Manchester in 1851. From 1866 to 1875 he taught at the Government School of Design, South Kensington and in 1881 was elected member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. This particular painting is the first of 31 he exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1858 and 1890. The close observation of detail and high-key colours reflect Pre-Raphaelite painting of the 1850's. He does not seem to have been related to the Pre-Raphaelite painter James Collinson.

Physical description

A white and black rabbit appear in the central foreground in a grassy glade of a woodland setting.

Place of Origin

England, Great Britain (painted)


1857 (painted)


Collinson, Robert, born 1832 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on millboard

Marks and inscriptions

Robt. Collinson 1857


Height: 38.1 cm estimate, Width: 48.2 cm estimate, Height: 58.5 cm framed, Width: 69 cm framed, Depth: 8.5 cm framed

Object history note

Purchased, 1863

Descriptive line

Oil painting on millboard, 'Stray Rabbits', Robert Collinson, 1857

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Parkinson, R., Victoria and Albert Museum, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, London: HMSO, 1990, p. 40
The following is the full text of the entry:
"COLLINSON, Robert (1832-after 1890)

Born Cheshire July 1832; student at Government School of Design, Manchester, 1847-53. First exhibited at Royal Institution, Manchester, 1851; his address in the SBA catalogue 1854 was the School of Art, Warrington. Exhibited 31 works at the RA between 1858 and 1890, 10 at the BI 1861-67, 14 (including three watercolours) at the SBA 1854-81/2, and 17 elsewhere. Subjects principally genre and landscape. His 1862 'Ordered on Foreign Service' (RA 1864) was engraved by CA Tomkins 1865; that, and his etching of his 1868 project for the Royal Horticultural Society's buildings, are in the V&A collections. Taught at the Government School of Design, South Kensington, from before 1866 to 1875; elected Member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts 1881. Ruskin found his 'Sunday Afternoon' (RA 1875) 'extremely delightful'. He does not seem to have been related to the Pre-Raphaelite painter James Collinson.

LIT: H Ottley A Biographical and Critical Dictionary 1866; J Ruskin Academy Notes 1875 Cook and Wedderburn 14, 1904

Stray Rabbits
9100-1863 Negs X2131, HG1883
Millboard, 38.1 x 48.2 cm (15 x 19 ins)
Signed and dated 'Rob'. Collinson 1857' bl
Purchased 1863

Presumably the painting with the same title exhibited at the RA in 1858, his first RA exhibit. It was not noticed by the Art Journal and Athenaeum critics. The woodland setting reflects the acuity of observation and high-key colouring of Pre-Raphaelite painting of the 1850s.

EXH: RA 1858 (802)"


Oil paint; Millboard


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Rabbits; Woodland



Collection code


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