The Statesman as Artist
Over 50 years Winston Churchill produced more than 500 paintings of his family homes at Blenheim and Chartwell, evocative scenes on the French Riviera and Marrakesh, as well as still lifes—plus an extraordinarily revealing self-portrait, painted during a particularly troubled time in his life. During peace and periods of war, Churchill painted as his primary means of relaxation from the strain of public affairs.
In his lecture, which is based on his book, Churchill: The Statesman as Artist, British author and historian Sir David Cannadine will provide the most important account yet of Churchill’s life in art. He will cover every aspect of Churchill as an artist, and discuss what his art meant to him. Painting was not just a private hobby for Churchill, but from 1945 onwards, an essential element of his public fame. We will learn about Churchill’s writings and speeches on art, including his essay, Painting as a Pastime, and his addresses to the Royal Academy, and an important speech he delivered about art and freedom in 1937.
Sir David Cannadine will then discuss heretofore uncollected critical accounts of his work by some of Churchill’s contemporaries, such as Welsh painter Augustus John, Sir John Rothenstein, Professor Thomas Bodkin and the art critic Eric Newton. Sir David Cannadine will reveal Churchill the artist more fully than ever before, as we understand how painting helped banish his “black dog” and gave his life outside politics meaning and value.
Thank you to our co-sponsor: The International Churchill Society