Winston Churchill was no Adonis but most of his portraitists did what they could to flatter him. He had rallied his country at a time of mortal peril. What were Sutherland’s personal feelings toward Churchill? He was drawn to depicting subjects as they truly were without embellishment; some sitters considered his disinclination to flattery as a form of cruelty or disparagement to his subjects. As well as the portrait, Winston had been presented with a book signed by almost every member of both houses, and a cheque for £140,000. When it was first unveiled, before the assembled members, Churchill quipped, to much amusement, that it … In 1978, it was reported that Lady Spencer-Churchill had destroyed the painting within a year of its arrival at Chartwell, by breaking it into pieces and having them incinerated to prevent it from causing further distress to her husband. Chichester Cathedral, Graham Sutherland painting 'Noli Me Tangere' Sussex England UK English painter painters paintings Feb. 26, 2012 - The Portrait painted by Mr. Graham Sutherland presented to Sir Winston Churchill on his 80th Birthday by past and present members of the houses of … In 1954 the English artist Graham Sutherland was commissioned to paint a full-length portrait of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom. A longtime Churchill bibliophile and collector, he was formerly associate editor of Finest Hour. English painter Graham Sutherland (1903 - 1980) with his unfinished portrait of Winston Churchill, 1954. He is perhaps most famous for his ‘Christ in Glory’, the world’s largest tapestry in Coventry Cathedral. The series culminated in this work, whose simplified forms and detailed technique recall Palmer. Churchill's wife had the painting burnt a year or two later. Britain was now a junior player, and a former ally was a looming threat. He defied danger and death all his life—stood up to moral battles which would have crushed a lesser man. Sutherland called the Churchills’ actions “without question … In regular outgoings equivalent to £29,000 in 2019 but similar to the cost of many modest British houses outside of the most prime locations at the time. Painter. Between the years 1921-26 Sutherland studied etching at Goldsmiths School of Art where he was taught by etcher and engraver Frederick Marriott and later Malcolm Osborne, his contemporaries included Paul Drury. Churchill's wife, Lady Spencer-Churchill, had the painting destroyed within a year of receiving it. In the event, Sutherland did produce a relatively complete study for such a portrait, having another sitter model the Garter robes. Churchill hated the portrait. As such, and because he was at the peak of his fame in 1954, Sutherland was commissioned to paint a full-length portrait of Winston Churchill. And at the best of times as other artists, including WSC’s sculptor cousin Clare Sheridan, had noted he was a notoriously restless sitter. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), Prime Minister. Artwork page for ‘Pastoral’, Graham Sutherland OM, 1930 During the 1920s Sutherland produced a series of prints and drawings directly inspired by the example of Samuel Palmer. The 1,000 guinea fee for the painting was funded by donations from members of the House of Commons and House of Lords. “The suggestion about Graham Sutherland was not smiled on at all. However, the strange shadows and bizarrely gnarled and twisted tree trunks strike a more personal note. The painting was intended to hang in the Houses of Parliament after Churchill's death, but it was instead given as a personal gift to Churchill himself, who took it back to Chartwell and refused to display it. Find an in-depth biography, exhibitions, original artworks for sale, the latest news, and sold auction prices. In the mid-1950s Grace Hamblin, longtime Churchill and Chartwell stalwart, aided by her brother, took the portrait several miles from Chartwell and committed it to the flames of a huge bonfire. They intend it to remain with him for his lifetime, and then to hang in the Palace of Westminster. The Sutherland Portrait A present for Churchill's 80th birthday. Portrait of the week No 82 . Lady Spencer-Churchill viewed the completed portrait on 20 November 1954 and took a photograph back to her husband. It was commissioned by both Houses of Parliament, and the whole episode became very public. Sutherland's portrait of Churchill, to mark his 80th birthday caused a sensation at its unveiling in 1954, and was subsequently destroyed by the sitter's wife. Sutherland was reluctant to discuss the work in progress with Churchill and showed the subject few of his working materials. In response, Sutherland maintained that he painted the Prime Minister as he truly saw him and that the depiction was an honest and realistic representation. ", Winston Churchill, Graham Sutherland (1954), Portrait of the week, No 82, The Secret Churchill Caper That Netflix’s The Crown Didn’t Show, Oil sketch of Winston Churchill, by Graham Sutherland, Pencil sketch of Winston Churchill, by Graham Sutherland, BBC Radio 4: Churchill Portrait Destroyed, Never was so much owed by so many to so few,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 January 2021, at 08:06. In June 1954 the cumbersomely named “Churchill Joint Houses of Parliament Gift Committee” decided on the presentation of a portrait and who should receive the commission. Four years later David McFall, working on Sir Winston’s bust, may have summarized what Sutherland felt: “[I was] struck by something in him I had not expected to see. Graham Sutherland was thinking of the Churchill who had stopped the enemy and saved England, and the manner in which, without a word of guidance, Mr. Churchill took up a pose on the dais convinced the painter that he was on the right tack. x 12 1/4 in. In 1946, Sutherland had his first exhibition in New York. Lady Spencer-Churchill thought it was a good resemblance – "really quite alarmingly like him" – but also said it made him look too cross, while recognising that it was a familiar expression. See available paintings, works on paper, and photographs for sale and learn about the artist. Sutherland contributed to the International Surrealist Exhibition in London and was an Official War Artist. Churchill's son Randolph thought the portrait made him look "disenchanted". The true fate of Sir Winston Churchill's Sutherland portrait has come to light, finally unravelling the mystery of its controversial disappearance. 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