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William Collins R.A. was one of the best known artists of his time. He was born in London from a poor background. He studied briefly as a boy under George Morland. In 1810 he showed Children Fishing at the British Institution, which was an exhibiting body supported by aristocratic art patrons, and Collins would become a favourite of high-profile collectors such as the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Duke of Devonshire, Sir Robert Peel, and King George IV himself. He was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy in 1814 and a full member in 1820 and, apart from two years in Italy, he exhibited there every year from 1807 until the year before his death in 1847.

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