Colin Hunter was a coastal landscape and marine painter, born in Glasgow and living there for much of his working life. He trained in landscape, and took to marine painting in the 1860s. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1868, showing around a hundred pictures there through to 1903. He maintained a London address from the early 1870s, and achieved success with scenes of fishermen at work, boats at sea, harbour scenes, and shore scenes with fisher folk. In 1879 his picture of fishermen catching kelp in lieu of fish, Their Only Harvest, was bought under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest. He became RWS in 1882, and was elected ARA in 1884.
Hunter's pictures may be found in Glasgow (e.g. Good night to Skye), Manchester - The Herring Market at Sea (1884), a good Mouth of the River Helmsdale in the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, and elsewhere. Their Only Harvest is in the Tate Gallery.