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Art in Scotland
Alexander Christie

Born, 1807 ; died, 5th May 1860.

This artist began life in a writer's office in Edinburgh, of which city he was a native. After serving his apprenticeship and practising for some time as a lawyer, he yielded to a resistless desire to adopt art as a profession, and began to study in his twenty-sixth year at the Trustees' Academy, then under the superintendence of Sir William Allan. He afterwards went to London, where he for some time further prosecuted his studies, but returned and finally settled in Edinburgh, where he was appointed an assistant-teacher in the Academy in which he had first studied, in succession to Thomas Duncan, in the ornamental department. He has left a memento of this period of his career in two or three figures of saints against a decorated gold background in the Byzantine manner, painted from his designs by his pupils T. Faed and J. Macdonald. He was elected an Associate of the Academy in 1848, and is represented in the Scottish National Gallery by an Incident in the Plague of London, showing the figure of a man returning to his home and startled by finding the plague-mark of the cross on his door. One of the most notable of his works is Oliver Cromwell, exhibited at the Scottish Academy in 1843. To the Westminster Hall competition in 1847 he contributed Sir John Moore carried from the Field of Corunna. He drew well and painted with considerable vigour, but was rather hard, rough, and strong in his manner.

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