Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Churchill Series – July 18, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

We read in the Telegraph:

A painting by Sir Winston Churchill of his Chartwell estate near Westerham in Kent fetched £1 million at Sotheby's in London yesterday, a world record auction price for a work by Britain's wartime prime minister.

The 76in x 63.5in (193cm x 161cm) landscape was painted in the war years of the early 1940s, about 20 years after Churchill moved into the much-modified Elizabethan manor house. The picture was bought by a private collector.

The canvas - entitled Chartwell: Landscape with Sheep - eclipsed the previous price for a work by Churchill, established last December, when his View of Tinherir, an oasis in North Africa, which he gave to his Chief of Staff, General Sir George Marshall, fetched £612,800.

Paintings by Churchill have doubled in value in the past 10 years. In 2005, On the Rance, near St Malo sold for £344, 000 at Christie's. […]
The Telegraph’s story is accompanied by a color photo (or as the Brits would put it colour photo) of the painting which you can view here.

For sure a newspaper photo doesn’t do justice to the painting but it does give some sense of color, composition and detail.

Caution note: I’m not sure the Telegraph is right about the date of the painting. It’s generally been agreed that during the WW II years Churchill painted only one work. That was in 1943 when he was in North Africa and recovering from a health crisis that included at least one heart attack and pneumonia.

Let’s keep our eyes out for more information concerning when Churchill painted Chartwell: Landscape with Sheep.

There’s a very interesting article on Churchill as a painter here. [excerpts]:
The first public exhibition of his paintings was under an assumed name, Charles Morin, in France [in 1921]. The pseudonym eliminated the prejudice that would derive from his own name, ensuring that evaluations were neither too solicitous nor, perhaps, too unkind.

Years later, he sent his first submission to the Royal Academy under an-other pseudonym. Finally, his confidence developed, he exhibited under his name, although only a few major shows were held in his lifetime.
The article, "Churchill as Painter: The Artist and His Critics," was written by Merry Alberigi and published in the Churchill Centre’s quarterly, Finest Hour.

I found it fascinating reading. I think most of you will, too. If you don’t have time to read it today, why not bookmark it and read it this weekend?

Also, if you know someone who loves art, please consider sending them this post. You might that way interest someone in Churchill. That's always a great thing to do.