From the very first episode, we are introduced to the Collins family ancestors, and frequently see characters interacting with or talking about ancestors in the portraits. In Episode 4, Liz points to the portraits in the drawing room from left to right saying, "Look at them, Roger, lined up on the wall: Isaac Collins, Jeremiah Collins, Theodore, Benjamin." In Episode 334, Roger describes how he used to be afraid to walk the halls of Collinwood alone as a boy, imagining that the dead people in the portraits were staring at him with piercing eyes, hating him. Not all of the ancestors have been identified, and some identifications have changed on several occasions, so information presented here may also change as more facts are revealed.
Jeremiah's portrait is the first one seen on the show and encountered most often due to its prominent placement over the mantel in the drawing room. Elizabeth tells newly arrived Vicki that he's her great grandfather and was responsible for building Collinwood. She would later tell Vicki that Daniel was her great great grandfather in Episode 463, as the Collins family history would undergo revision after the first excursion into the past, which is when we learned that Daniel was Millicent's brother, and much younger than Jeremiah. We also learned that Jeremiah was brother to Joshua and Abigail, and that he eloped with Josette while under a spell, causing Barnabas to kill him in a duel.
|Liz tells Vicki how her great grandfather Jeremiah built the house in Episode 1.|
|Carolyn remarks to her relative: "Big Shot! Who told him to build this prison anyway?"|
|In 1897, Jeremiah's portrait hangs where Isaac Collins' portrait can be found in present day as seen in Episode 704.|
|Jeremiah's portrait hangs over the mantel at the Old House in 1840, as seen in Episode 1131.|
|Jeremiah's portrait hangs in the same place at the Old House in 1841 parallel time, as seen in Episode 1221.|
Benjamin's portrait is the second one seen when Liz opens the doors to welcome Vicki in Episode 1. Roger identifies him as his great uncle in Episode 59, whom Sheriff Patterson acknowledges is Benjamin Collins. In Episode 279, Vicki tells Burke this is a portrait of Joshua Collins. At that time, it was hanging in the drawing room to the left of the bay windows, which is the only time it has been in a different location than it's usual place in the foyer. In 1795 time, we first see Benjamin's portrait hanging at Collinwood mansion in Episode 395.
|Vicki's arrival in Episode 1.|
|Vicki says, "Boo!" to Benjamin Collins in Episode 2.|
|In 1795, Benjamin's portrait can be seen hanging in the foyer in Episode 395.|
|Benjamin's portrait hangs in the foyer in 1840 as Gerard interrogates Julia in Episode 1113.|
|Benjamin's portrait is reflected in the mirror during end credits in Episode 1217.|
Naomi and Joshua Collins
Naomi and Joshua's portraits are found hanging to the left and right of the drawing room doors and are first seen after Vicki arrives at Collinwood in Episode 1. These portraits have not been identified as Naomi and Joshua, but it makes sense to me that these two would be featured in the drawing room and they somewhat resemble the ancestors we met in 1795. Until I find out differently, I'm identifying them as Barnabas' parents. Just as Joshua watched Naomi's drinking closely, his portrait is situated near the brandy bottle to continue this habit. In 1795, Joshua's portrait can also be seen hanging in the entryway for the first time in Episode 455.
|Liz is seen with Naomi's portrait in Episode 1.|
|Joshua keeps an eye on Roger's brandy consumption in Episode 30.|
|Joshua's portrait makes its first appearance in 1795 in Episode 455.|
|The portrait of Naomi is seen inexplicably hanging at Lamar Trask's abode in Episode 1145. |
|Naomi's portrait hangs in Flora's room in Episode 1240.|
Isaac Collins' portrait was first seen in Episode 3 when Vicki asked Carolyn who he was. While most other portraits remain hanging in the same location, the portrait of Isaac Collins is unique in that it is often displayed in many different places around Collinwood. It was first seen hanging to the left of the bay windows in the drawing room. Carolyn introduces him to Vicki in the third episode, saying:
Good old Uncle Isaac. Isaac Collins. He's the one who began it all. Started the whole wingding back in the 17th century. Built the fishing fleet. Founded the town. Gave it a name. The works. He must have really been something. I've always thought Uncle Roger looked a little bit like him.After being interrupted, she goes on to say:
Isaac Collins, the big shot who started the whole mess. You might say he's the man who put us into the fish business. I wonder what he'd say if he could see the town now? Artist colony, summer people, and this big, fat, ugly house on the top of the hill.
In Episode 4, Isaac's portrait was moved to the right of the windows in the drawing room, where it stayed until Episode 16.
In Episode 17, Liz teaches David about the founder of Collinwood.
Liz: Isaac was a brave man, David. Crossing the ocean in a small sailing ship. Do you know when that was?
David: My father tells me 1690.
Liz: That's right. He landed right near here in Frenchman's Bay, and then he came to Collinsport and he liked it, and he decided to stay. Only it wasn't called Collinsport then, because there was nothing here. Just a harbor and trees and lots of fish. Isaac Collins. Imagine having a town named after you.
|Isaac hangs above the phone in Episode 22.|
|In Episode 290, Isaac can be seen in Julia's bedroom as Barnabas approaches her bed.|
|Isaac can be found in the study while the family plans a séance in Episode 365.|
|Isaac maintains a presence as he looks over Chris Jennings' shoulder in Episode 638.|
|Isaac is seen as Madame Findley warns Joe to beware an animal that walks like a man in Episode 648.|
|We briefly see Isaac hanging above the mantel on the first day in 1897 during Episode 701.|
|Isaac Collins looks right at home presiding over the drawing room in Episode 702.|
|Isaac's portrait is featured in end credits in Episode 739.|
|Isaac's portrait is featured in end credits again in Episode 754.|
|Victor Fenn-Gibbon inspects Isaac's portrait while asking Angelique about the Collins family in Episode 794.|
|In 1840, Isaac's portrait can be seen hanging in Ben Stokes' room in Episode 1110.|
|In Episode 1136, Isaac's portrait hangs in its traditional place.|
|Isaac's portrait appears in Gabriel's room in Episode 1156.|
|Isaac's portrait can be found in the drawing room in Episode 1161.|
|Isaac oversees the last tarot reading on the show in Episode 1176.|
|Isaac appears in 1841 parallel time in Episode 1201.|
|Isaac appears behind Gabriel, who tries to evade the Cursed Room in Episode 1212.|
|Morgan, possessed by James Forsythe, gives Isaac the once over in Episode 1223.|
The portrait of Theodore Collins is often seen in shots with Jeremiah's portrait as his is situated to the right, but is first seen prominently looking over Vicki's shoulder as she tries to ingratiate herself with Matthew Morgan in Episode 6.
The portrait of Abigail Collins made its first appearance in Episode 65, taking up residence in Isaac Collins' former place to the right of the bay windows in the drawing room, where it continues to reside. While I initially labeled it The Unknown Ancestor, after seeing it a little more clearly and determining the subject is female, it makes sense to me that Abigail would be represented along with her brothers and sister-in-law in the drawing room. The portrait remains unidentified by characters on the show, so this information could change as we make our way through the series.
|Sandor searches for jewels behind Abigail's portrait in Episode 701.|
|Nice close up of Abigail in Episode 1053.|
Barnabas' portrait can first be seen hanging unnoticed by any characters in Episode 204.
Willie takes note of it in Episode 205, admiring Barnabas' jewels as David teaches him Collins family history, after which the eyes in the portrait begin to glow and a heartbeat is heard.
In 1795, Barnabas' portrait was hung for the first time at Collinwood in Episode 422, though Joshua informed the Countess duPrés that it was several months old.
|Charity Trask becomes yet another victim held in thrall to Barnabas' portrait in Episode 738.|
|Angelique regards Barnabas' portrait in Episode 794 after hearing a warbling sound.|
|The portrait of Barnabas in parallel time seen in Episode 1008 appears different from the original.|
|It's been reported that the original went missing during filming of House of Dark Shadows.|
|In 1840, Barnabas' portrait hangs above the mantel in Ben Stokes' room, as seen in Episode 1110.|
|Julia is surprised to see Barnabas' portrait in Ben's room in Episode 1110.|
|Another view in Episode 1110.|
|Lamar Trask regards Barnabas' portrait in Episode 1133.|
|Barnabas' portrait is featured in end credits in Episode 1148.|
|Julia Collins gives Bramwell the portrait of his dad in Episode 1221.|
|Barnabas' portrait in Episode 1221|
David introduces Amy to the portrait of Thaddeus Collins in Episode 639, which they discover as he takes her on a tour of the West Wing in search of ghosts. He tells her that Thaddeus was alive during the Civil War. Hopefully Thaddeus may be rescued and reinstalled in a more prominent location so we can get a better look at him some day soon.
1995 Collinwood Portraits
In Episode 1061, Barnabas and Julia return from parallel time to find Collinwood in ruins. Some portraits have been displaced, while others have been saved at a nearby cottage where Carolyn is staying. Stay tuned for additions and clarifications as we discover the events in 1995 and the role of portraits in preserving Collins family history during this time.
|Abigail's portrait is now hanging in Naomi's place.|
|It is difficult to tell if Jeremiah's portrait remains over the mantel.|
|The frame appears to be the same, but the clothes don't seem to match.|
|Isaac's portrait has been rescued and hangs at Carolyn's cottage at Findley Cove.|
|Joshua's portrait can be seen hanging behind Julia.|
|Barnabas' ancestral portrait is found in a pile with a group of other portraits.|
|We get a glimpse of Theodore's portrait leaning against the wall at Carolyn's home in Episode 1062.|
|A new portrait is seen outside the playroom in Episode 1065.|
In 1970, David finds a note from 1840 that reads, "Where Abner Collins found, warning all not to enter, I will meet you tonight. Come to the playroom if you value your life." David tells Hallie that Abner Collins is "some dead relative," and takes her to the portrait of Abner Collins that hangs outside the linen closet, where they encounter the ghost of Daphne Harridge.
1841 Parallel Time Portraits