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The portrait of Quentin Collins was rendered by Charles Delaware Tate and commissioned by Count Andreas Petofi in the year 1897. At the time, Tate was unaware that his canvases often had magical properties, imbued by the power Petofi had given to him. As Quentin Collins was not interested in having his portrait done (painted portraits were a bit passée by then, cabinet cards being the current vogue, but losing popularity to snapshots), the portrait was done from a photograph, augmented by one chance meeting between Collins and Tate at Collinwood, which ended with Tate being forcibly removed (804).
During a full moon, the image of Quentin Collins would turn into a werewolf and, miraculously, Quentin would not turn into a werewolf at that time. Furthermore, the portrait began to age instead of Quentin, making him effectively immortal.
The first person to see the painting transform was Charity Trask, although it was a brief occurrence and Tate himself did not see it happen.Decades later, the portrait had been painted over with a landscape by Tate and renamed A View of South Wales. In 1970, Dr. Julia Hoffman discovered it was in the possession of one Sky Rumson, who turned out to be married to Angelique. Angelique agreed to loan the painting to Julia, who then had the landscape removed, revealing what Quentin would look like if his physical appearance reflected his true age of roughly 100 years old. Julia then used the portrait to help shock the amnesiac who had presented himself as Grant Douglas into regaining his memory, confirming that he was—as Julia had become convinced—Quentin Collins.
The portrait was revealed to still exist in 1995 when Barnabas and Julia were inadvertently transported to the future. The two stumbled upon Quentin, who was insane, but still retained his youthful appearance. The portrait was later revealed to be hidden in a room on the second floor of the Old House. Quentin wanted to destroy the portrait in order to kill himself, claiming he could have prevented the destruction of Collinwood by Gerard Stiles in 1970, but Barnabas and Julia stopped him before he could do so.
The story of Quentin's portrait was based on Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.