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Professor George Aitchison (1825–1910), RA, RGM, PRIBA

Photo credit: RIBA Collections

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Writing of this official commission, the artist commented that 'It is so nice painting the face of an old friend, I know nothing more delightful'. For once, sittings must have been a pleasure for Alma-Tadema rather than a chore, and Aitchison is shown as though in conversation after a good dinner. George Aitchison (1825–1910) was President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1896–1899. He was much more involved in teaching and decorative design than in architectural practice and was Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy from 1887. His major surviving work is Leighton House, Kensington, designed for Frederic Leighton, RA in 1865 and enlarged with an Arab Hall incorporating genuine Moorish tiles in 1877. Although he had an interest in functional architecture, much of his design work was for elaborate interiors in existing houses for millionaire art collectors and those aesthetically minded members of Society known as 'The Souls'.

The Royal Institute of British Architects



Professor George Aitchison (1825–1910), RA, RGM, PRIBA




oil on canvas


H 117 x W 91.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

commissioned by the RIBA, 1900

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Royal Institute of British Architects

66 Portland Place, London, Greater London W1B 1AD England

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