Portrait of James Christie is a 1778 portrait painting by English artist Thomas Gainsborough.
Portrait of James Christie Analysis
Thomas Gainsborough, at the height of his fame as a leading portraitist in England, paints James Christie, founder of the auction house Christie’s – which is still, along with Sotheby’s, one of the two major auction houses of art and antiquities.
Christie (1730 – 1803) was known to be close to the major English artists, and this painting, presenting James Christie with a landscape painting, an auction paper, and standing proud, was allegedly commissioned so that Christie would have a magnificent portrait in his auction house, and Gainsborough agreed to know that it would raise the profile of his own works – a mutually beneficial arrangement.
This work was painted in 1778 when the artist was 51 years of age.
It now hangs, along with many other works of Thomas Gainsborough, in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.