Painting and high finance: why not both?
It became common for British businessmen and bankers to pose for portraits smiling and with their account books open on their desks. These portraits were a sign of confidence in modern techniques of accounting. The Baring Brothers —whose bank was founded in 1762 and folded only in 1995 because of the famed rogue trader Nick Leeson, who was also his branch’s auditor— were painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence poring over their main ledger like conquering explorers with their fingers on a map.
- Jacob Soll, The Reckoning