Winston Churchill’s Landscapes: not just a politician

Winston Churchill, an English statesman, is best known as one of the world’s most respected and revered politicians. Churchill’s role as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom made him a well-known historical figure, but he also performed better in other areas. He created stunning landscapes. A politician’s major hobby was painting. Landscapes played a significant role in it.

Tower of The Koutoubia Mosque Print by Winston Churchill

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, inside an aristocratic family with a history of political and military engagement. Winston became not only a brilliant politician, but also a British army officer, historian, writer, and artist.

Around 1900, he began his political career. He was elected to the House of British parliament.

Winston actively participated in all political and military affairs of the United Kingdom throughout his life, and 40 years later became Prime Minister of the country. Winston Churchill began to draw at the height of his political activity, when things were extremely difficult, with conflicts, wars, and complex political and military decisions. He was 41 yrs old.

Churchill classified himself as an impressionist painter. He tried to capture beautiful landscapes, especially at the beginning and end of the day, when sunlight creates the most unusual effects. But, because he was not a professional artist, he did not travel to faraway places in search of inspiring views. He was happy with his surroundings. The politician was painting next to the house. Some experts believe Winston could perform with the French Impressionists and reach the level of Cezanne and Monet if he took up drawing as a profession and dedicated himself to finding unusual places.

The painting “View of Chartwell” depicts the location where he lived for nearly 40 years. It is situated in Kent, in the south-east of England. Churchill purchased the estate in 1922 and stayed there until his death in 1965. This is the view from his house’s garden. This was the scene in front of his eyes as he made the most important political decisions.

Sunset Over the Atlas Mountains Print Lavelart 

Winston drew more than just what was familiar to him. He had to travel a lot because of his active political life. During his journeys, he always found time for art. Even though he classified painting a hobby, he took it very seriously. Take a look at this painting of the sunrise in Cassis. He was able to find beautiful shades of blue and green.

Winston Churchill managed to capture the light and atmosphere of the place in the two works that followed (“View of Cairo from the Pyramids” and “Pyramids”). The clouds and blue sky complement the earth’s orange-green hue perfectly.

Churchill observed that when he paints, he loses control of politics. Even as he walked to the front, he didn’t forget about the paintings. He painted three artworks while commanding a battalion of Scottish Riflemen, and one in the rear. The politician returned to London in 1916. Winston’s friends wrote in their memoirs that no matter where he stayed, whether in a hotel or an apartment, he always made room for an art studio.

When he was Finance Minister in 1927, he visited the royal residence of Balmoral and drew a picture of St. Paul’s Cathedral. When King George V noticed this, he asked Prime Minister Winston Churchill to donate the painting to a charitable organization. They put it up for auction and ended up selling it for £150.

Churchill had never been to a museum before becoming interested in painting. When his wife Clementine became aware of his passion, she took him to the National Gallery in London. This activity so shocked him that he stood for half an hour in front of each painting, carefully studying the specificities of composing and asking the specialists present about the peculiarities of each artist’s technique. He began visiting the museum on a daily basis. The wife was not entirely happy about such changes.

He went to see the Impressionists first when he arrived in Paris. He admired their paintings because they were positive and cheerful.

Scene at Marrakech Print Lavelart

Winston was sitting on a camel when he fell to the ground one day during the Cairo conference. He was severely injured and received gashes. Despite this, the politician saw many of the stunning views of the Sahara and transferred them to canvas. Churchill was unpopular in Egypt. Stones were thrown at him as he walked down the street, and people cursed him loudly. He responded by taking his chair and easel, ostentatiously settling himself comfortably in the middle of the street, and starting to draw.

Furthermore, he had an unusual attitude toward the analysis of his work. The politician was suspicious of the person who began actively praising his painting.

He once sent some of his works to a Drouet Gallery exhibition in Paris. He went by the alias Charles Morin. A number of paintings were sold. Charles Camille Morin is a genuine French artist who passed away two years before this event. Churchill, it appears, was a fan of his work.

The politician participated in art exhibitions, but did it anonymously or under a pseudonym. In 1925, he took first place among non-professionals. The prize was an Oswald Birley painting. But, for some reason, Churchill was not granted it. Many years later, when the Prime Minister met with the artist, he expressed his displeasure with the injustice. As restitution, Oswald Birley drew a portrait of his daughter.

PS Visit Lavelart online store to find more Churchill Prints.

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