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“Happy are the painters for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope will keep them company to the end of their days.”
– Winston Churchill, December 1921
Nineteen fifteen was a tumultuous year in the life of Winston Churchill – one which threatened to end his meteoric political career, only months after his fortieth birthday. As Britain struggled with stalemate in the First World War, Churchill was blamed for the failure of the Dardanelles campaign and lost the coveted post of First Lord of the Admiralty. He was soon forced out of government altogether and in near disgrace and deeply discouraged, volunteered to serve on the frontlines in France. His wife Clementine later said, “I thought he would die of grief.”
But then, in Churchill’s words, “the muse of painting came to my rescue.” A chance encounter encouraged him to take up painting and the result was a passion that would sustain him for the rest of his life. He studied – and learned from – masters such as Monet and Cezanne and took lessons from leading British artists. For the next forty years, painting became his solace in times of struggle and a respite from the incredible demands of leading Britain and the world during one of history’s greatest crises.
Churchill created over five hundred pictures with a particular fondness for plein air landscapes at locations from the English countryside to the French Riviera and in cities as diverse as Marrakech, Venice and Miami. Today, fifty-eight years after his death, his work is coveted around the world – one of his most iconic pictures recently sold for 8.2 million pounds, surely a record for a “non-professional” artist.
Join acclaimed historian and popular speaker Lee Pollock as he tells the story of Winston Churchill’s romance with canvas, paint and brush and the important role that painting played in his life.
Please note that booking closes 2 hours before the event. The Zoom link will be sent out on 1 March, and again 90 minutes before the event. If you have not received the link after that time, please contact email@example.com
Mr Lee Pollock is a historian, writer and public speaker on the life and times of Winston Churchill. He has written about Churchill for the Wall Street Journal, the New Criterion, American Purposeand the Daily Beastand has appeared on CBS, the BBC and other media outlets in the U.S. and Britain. Lee has spoken about Churchill’s legacy and leadership at venues ranging from the U.S. House of Representatives, the Pentagon and the U.S. Supreme Court to leading universities, history museums, non-profit institutions and clubs.
Lee is a Director, Advisor to the Board and Member of the Operating Committee of The International Churchill Society and previously served as the Society’s Executive Director. A native of Montreal, Canada, he is a graduate of McGill University and holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.
He is the author of a forthcoming book, Action This Day: Adventures with Winston Churchill.