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The Art of the Prime Minister: The Landscapes By Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill, Scene on the River Meuse (I), 1946, National Trust, Chartwell, UK


The Art of the Prime Minister: The Landscapes By Winston Churchill

The English statesman Winston Churchill is one of the most respected and admired men in the world. His role as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, especially during World War II, has made him a well-known figure, but Churchill stands out for many other reasons, too. Today DailyArt Magazine invites you to see the landscapes which were one of the Prime Minister’s favorite themes in his work as a painter.

The Club House and Jetty, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

Sir Winston Churchill, The Club House and Jetty, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, 1930, National Trust, Chartwell, UK

Perhaps you have read about Sir Winston Churchill since his performance during the two World Wars of the 20th century is known to virtually everyone. However, I think I can introduce him one more time: Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, into an aristocratic family that was traditionally associated with political and military life. And yet, this statesman, historian, writer, and officer of the British Army, was also a painter.

Churchill’s political activity began around 1900 when he became a member of the Parliament. Throughout his life, he was actively involved in the political and military affairs of the United Kingdom, and 40 years later he became the Prime Minister. And it was in the midst of all this troubled life, marked by conflicts, wars, political and military decisions, that he began painting. 

View of Chartwell

Identified as an Impressionist artist, Churchill was interested in capturing beautiful landscapes, especially at the beginning and at the end of the day, when sunlight creates the most interesting effects. But Churchill, who was not a professional painter, did not go in faraway places in search of an environment that inspired him, or where he could have a beautiful sight to paint, as the French Impressionists did. Instead, he chose places in the vicinity of his house.

Landscapes by Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill, A View of Chartwell, 1938, National Trust, Chartwell, UK

The View of Chartwell, which depicts the place where he lived for almost forty years, is located in Kent, South East England. Sir Winston Churchill bought the estate in 1922 and lived in it until shortly before his death in 1965. View of Chartwell is the view from the garden of this residence, where he also obviously dealt with political matters and took care of his political obligations. 

Daybreak at Cassis

Do not think, however, that Churchill painted only what was familiar to him. His duties made him travel a lot, and during these trips, he was also able to find time for his art. That’s why I consider Churchill so passionate about painting.

Daybreak at Cassis

Sir Winston Churchill, Daybreak at Cassis, 1920, National Trust, Chartwell, 1920

Even if he saw painting solely as a hobby, he devoted himself to it with seriousness. Look at this painting in which he depicts a dawn in Cassis. The different shades of green and blue are so beautiful!

View of Cairo from the Pyramids

These are the two Winston Churchill’s works of art that I like most. I have never been to Egypt, but I very much believe that it must be lovely to see it from this perspective, with this light and this atmosphere. The clouds and the blue sky perfectly match the orange-green aspect of the earth.

The shades harmonize so perfectly with the light that it is impossible to remain indifferent to this landscape. I do not know if he planned to thrill someone with that view, but I must say: it works for me.

The Pyramids

Sir Winston Churchill, The Pyramids, 1921, National Trust, Chartwell, UK

Cairo from the Pyramids with the Artist Painting

Cairo from the Pyramids with the Artist Painting

Sir Winston Churchill, Cairo from the Pyramids with the Artist Painting, 1921, National Trust, Chartwell, UK

Sir Winston Churchill fascinates people for many different reasons. He acted on many fronts, from literature to politics (by the way, talking of literature, he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953), yet in painting, he did not try to change the world or denounce injustice. He wanted only to portray the beauty of natural landscapes, whether it was the garden of his house or the other side of the world. And it is in this simplicity that lies the importance of his art.

Do you like landscapes? Read more in our section about this!

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Someone who believes, through reading and intuition, that the history of art is the true history of humanity. In love with Renaissance art and a huge fan of the Impressionists.


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