Bessie Christie

Art class

Art class by Bessie Christie

Artwork Detail

Bessie Christie’s paintings of cityscapes and people offer a rare perspective on modern New Zealand life during a period dominated by landscape painting.

Christie began classes at the Elam School of Art in 1921 and it was there she sketched social occasions, later working them up into paintings. Art Class, a painting about painting, shows students crowded around a model, their work showing her from

different perspectives.

Bessie Christie studied painting at the Elam School of Art during the 1930s. She was an exceptional colourist with an ability to portray complex figure groups. Her satirical view of contemporary art was enjoyed by local art reviewers. This painting appears to show one of Lois White's own art classes where students would sit as models for one another. The high viewpoint shows the model, and all of the women that are painting her, being crowded out of the small studio.

We are actively seeking the authoritative copyright holder for this work. Please contact if you can assist us.

Art class
Bessie Christie
Production date
circa 1948
oil on hardboard
470 x 620 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1988
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

To find out which artworks are available for print requests and reproduction please enquire here. This service only applies to select artworks in the Gallery's collection.