Albert Henry Collings (1869-1947)
This model was painted on two other occasions by Collings in 'The Fortune Teller' and 'Yasmin'...
Although Albert Collings is generally regarded as a portrait painter in the more traditional sense, his most accomplished works are undoubtedly these seductive female figure studies, often painted with dazzling luminosity and great attention to surface textures. Many of these textures have oriental origins and a number of the studio props seen in this work – such as the large inlaid chest and circular hand-held mirror, appear in other paintings by Collings from this date.
Although the sitter’s full name is unknown, this model was painted on two other occasions by Collings in The Fortune Teller and Yasmin. The sitter in Yasmin was painted by Collings in the same costume as this portrait but standing, one hand behind her head, in a full-length composition.
Collings was born in London and spent the majority of his life in the capital, exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1896 and entering into the Royal Society of British Artists the following year, where he exhibited this portrait in 1926. As well as exhibiting in London, Collings also exhibited in Paris at the Salon des Artistes Français between 1911 and 1936, having won a gold medal in 1907, and it was here that Collings exhibited Yasmin in the 1920s. In 1936 the Illustrated London News commissioned a portrait of King Edward VIII in regalia from Collings which was to be used on the issue cover celebrating the king’s coronation, however, Edward abdicated before his coronation and Collings simply replaced Edward’s painted face with George VI.
 A postcard exists depicting Collings’ portrait Yasmin printed with a stamp ‘Salon de Paris – Albert Collings – Yasmin’ published by Alfred Noyer, a successful photographer and member of the Salon de Paris.