Christie’s 250th Anniversary Celebrations will be launched with A Curated Evening Sale & Loan Exhibition Spanning 4 Centuries of British Art In London, June & July 2016

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Christie’s 250th Anniversary Celebrations will be launched with A Curated Evening Sale & Loan Exhibition Spanning 4 Centuries of British Art In London, June & July 2016

Early Sale Highlights to be Announced Include Major Paintings by Lucian Freud, Frederic, Lord Leighton & Sir Joshua Reynolds

Leighton Golden Hours

Frederic, Lord Leighton, P.R.A. (1830-1896)

Golden Hours

oil on canvas

31 1/2 x 49 in. (80 x 124.5 cm.)

Painted in 1864

Estimate: £3,000,000-5,000,000


London – An intimate family portrait by Lucian Freud painted in 1992 (left); a pivotal example from 1864 of British Aestheticism at auction for the first time in 100 years by Frederic, Lord Leighton (centre); and from 1778, an exquisite portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds on the market for the first time (right), are among the great works of British art to be offered in a sale alongside an exhibition which will launch Christie’s 250th anniversary in London this June. Building on the success of Christie’s pioneering series of curated Evening Sales to date, including Looking Forward to the Past and The Artist’s Muse in 2015, Christie’s will celebrate the artistic legacy of four centuries of British artists, with Defining British Art: Evening Sale (30 June) and Defining British Art: Loan Exhibition (17 June to 15 July). These Evening Sale highlights, a trio of exceptional figurative paintings which come from major private collections and illustrate the evolving face and social customs of British portraiture over three centuries, are among the works that will tour to Christie’s New York: 6 to 12 May and Christie’s Hong Kong: 26 May to 30 May.

Ever since James Christie first opened his doors for business in 1766, in St James’s London, where the headquarters remain today, Christie’s has championed British art and artists, with both Reynolds and Gainsborough among the regular visitors to Christie’s salerooms. The greatest masterpieces are those that define the artist; paintings and sculpture that reflect the quintessential nature of that artist’s lasting legacy. Christie’s Loan Exhibition and Evening Sale will present works which exemplify this.


Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. (1723-1792)

Portrait of Lucy Long, Mrs George Hardinge (d. 1820), daughter and heiress of Richard Long of Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, in a white dress with a sheer brown scarf and a ribbon and pearls in her hair, with her spaniel, in a landscape

oil on canvas

50 1/8 x 40 1/4 in. (127.3 x 102.1 cm.)

Painted in 1778

Estimate: £2,000,000 – £3,000,000

Orlando Rock, Chairman, Christie’s UK: “A celebration of Britain’s artistic achievements, the Defining British Art Loan Exhibition and Evening Sale will break new ground for Christie’s, charting the evolution of British art over the last 400 years. A fitting launch to Christie’s 250th Anniversary celebrations in London and inspired by James Christie’s own innovative spirit, the sale and exhibition will create dynamic juxtapositions and, we hope, inspire artists and collectors of the future. Open to all, I would like to encourage not only those who are already friends of Christie’s but also those we have yet to welcome, to share in these celebrations and become part of our next chapter, looking ahead to the next 250 years and beyond.”

Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President of Christie’s International: “On the night of 30 June here in London we will hold a landmark sale of major paintings and sculpture to celebrate our 250th year. The auction will be the first sale of its kind to span four centuries of great British painting from Sir Joshua Reynolds to Frederic, Lord Leighton and Lucian Freud. Our specialists from across the globe have worked together to curate what promises to be a fascinating overview of the very best of British Art.”


About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Axel is the Editor and Publisher of Connoisseur Magazine "for the Finer Things in Life" and has been the custodian of the magazine for over 10 years and leader of a team of freelance Journalists and Community Members who continue to make it all happen!-Join the Team at Connoisseur Magazine!

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