(27 January 1850 - 11 April 1934)
Collier first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1874, sending a study of a head. His portraits of Major and Mrs Forster, exhibited in 1877, attracted attention and helped establish him as a society portrait painter. Thereafter he exhibited annually, sending a total of 140 pictures-until his death. He also exhibited works at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters of which he later became vice-president. His sitters included Anthony Ashley-Cooper, seventh earl of Shaftesbury, George Bernard Shaw, Sir Oswald Mosley, Henry Irving, Rudyard Kipling, first Earl Kitchener, and Ellen Terry.
Collier married Marian, daughter of Professor Thomas Henry Huxley. She too had studied at the Slade and exhibited three works at the Royal Academy between 1880 and 1884. Having suffered from mental illness since the birth of their daughter Joyce in 1884, she was taken by Collier to Paris in 1887, in the hope of finding a cure. Tragically she died of pneumonia on November 18, 1887. In 1889 Collier married, Marian's youngest sister, Ethel Gladys. Their marriage was not warmly accepted by everyone; Collier's sister-in-law, Lady Monkswell, broke off all contact. With Ethel, Collier moved to North House, Eton Avenue, a building he had commissioned from his brother-in-law, Frederick Waller. They had two children, Laurence Collier and Joan.
The obituary in The Times described him as 'a thin, bearded man, he gave the impression of polite independence, a sort of quiet ruthlessness in personal intercourse, a character which was undoubtedly reflected in his painting. Collier was one of the few rationalists of the Victorian establishment. He published his views on religion, morality, and citizenship in The Religion of an Artist, (1926).'
Collier died at his home, North House, in Eton Avenue. He had suffered from paralysis for years but worked right up until his death installing a lift in North House so that he could get to his studio, from where he worked from his wheelchair using brushes tied to bamboo staves.
Collier, who has no fewer than thirteen works in the National Portrait Gallery, London, is also represented in numerous other collections including the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, Brighton Art Gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery, the Tate collection, and the Guildhall Art Gallery, London.