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Sir George William Langham Christie; (Patricia) Mary (née Nicholson), Lady Christie

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© David Hockney 2002

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Sir George William Langham Christie; (Patricia) Mary (née Nicholson), Lady Christie

by David Hockney
watercolour, 2002
48 in. x 36 in. (1220 mm x 915 mm)
Commissioned and given by the artist , 2002
Primary Collection
NPG 6624

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • David Hockney (1937-), Artist. Artist associated with 14 portraits, Sitter in 49 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Hockney's friendship with the Christies dates back to 1972, when he undertook the stage designs for John Cox's Glyndebourne productions of The Rake's Progress and Die Zauberflöte. The artist's reluctance to begin the portrait was in part due to the fact that he does not readily undertake formal commissions. He was also in search of a contemporary approach to portraiture. Hockney had begun to explore the watercolour medium in 2002, and found its immediacy and fluidity well suited to portrait work. This portrait commission became the catalyst for a new series of double portraits of his London friends. The Christies' portrait was produced entirely from the life with an intensive morning and afternoon sitting, each lasting around 3½ hours.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Howgate, Sarah; Nairne, Sandy, A Guide to Contemporary Portraits, 2009, p. 29 Read entry

    David Hockney’s friendship with Sir George (b. 1934) and Lady Christie dates to 1972, when he undertook the stage designs for John Cox’s Glyndebourne productions of The Rake’s Progress and Die Zauberflöte. In search of a contemporary approach to portraiture, in 2002 he began to explore the medium of watercolour and found its immediacy and fluidity well suited to portrait work. The Christies’ portrait was produced entirely from life without the need for photographic reference. This commission became the catalyst for a new series of double portraits of Hockney’s London friends.

  • Howgate, Sarah; Stern Shapiro, Barbara; Glazebrook; Mark; White, Edmund; Livingstone, Marco, David Hockney Portraits, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12 October 2006 to 21 January 2007), p. 33 Read entry

    This watercolour double portrait, undertaken for the National Portrait Gallery, is a rare example of a Hockney portrait commission.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 2002back to top

Current affairs

2002 was an eventful year for the Royal Family, highlighted by the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations, but marred by the death of Princess Margaret, followed just three months later by the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother at the age of 101 (making her the longest lived royal in British History).

Art and science

The relationship between two of the greatest modern masters is celebrated in Tate Modern's blockbuster exhibition Matisse Picasso. By exhibiting their works side-by-side, the show revealed the relationship between the two artists from 1906-54.
The 'Party at the Palace' concert in celebration of the Queen's Jubilee brings together stars from the last 50 years of Pop: Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Brian Wilson, Queen, Ozzy Osbourne and Elton John.


Terrorist bombing attacks on the Island of Bali in Indonesia leave 202 people dead, including 25 Britons. The three attacks took place in a bar, outside a nightclub and outside the United States consulate, and were aimed at foreign tourists, although many locals were also killed or injured. The Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah were found guilty of perpetrating the attacks.

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