A leading figure in the contemporary revival of classical painting, Jacob Collins was born and received his formal training in New York, and also studied in Paris. He embraces a variety of subject matter and is equally adept at portraiture (his sitters have included J. Paul Getty Jr., President George Herbert Walker Bush, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger) as he is at painting landscape, still-life and figural themes. Collins, who has said he aims to "paint with the skills of past masters while still feeling fresh," relies on meticulous observation, careful draftsmanship, and dramatic use of darkness and illumination to create works that – while set in the present – exude a sense of timelessness.
In addition to his own painting, Collins is also a sought-after teacher who believes in rigorous classical training in disciplines that hark back to the Renaissance. While living and working in New York, Collins has established several painting ateliers in the tradition of the French academy, finding the rich exchange of ideas among like-minded peers to be stimulating and beneficial to his work as well. Collins has been the subject of over 20 solo exhibitions, and his work is represented in numerous prestigious public and private collections including Harvard's Fogg Art Museum and Amherst's Mead Art Museum, among others.