57 x 39 in. (144.8 x 99.1 cm)
Framed: 62 7/8 x 45 1/8 in. (159.7 x 114.6 cm)
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
The commission of Henry Rainey’s posthumous Speaker portrait took an unusual turn. Rather than choosing an artist, a competition was held. Of over 20 entries, four artists believed that they had the winning painting. The press blamed this predicament on the Speaker’s widow, who was said to be too kind-hearted to refuse any of the four finalists. The work by Howard Chandler Christy, a renowned portrait artist and illustrator, was finally chosen in 1936, two years after Rainey’s death. The Speaker, often remarked upon for his impressive height and voluminous white hair, is shown in his home library, wearing his trademark necktie.