Charting Churchill: The Studio at Chartwell

Studio at Chartwell, Westerham 2014 by Leslie Hossack

The Studio at Chartwell, Westerham 2014

© Leslie Hossack

After his party lost the general election, Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister and became Leader of the Opposition on July 26th 1945. The following year, he determined that he must sell his beloved country home Chartwell. Fortunately, a group of friends purchased the estate and gave it to the National Trust, with the proviso that the Churchills could live there the rest of their lives.

From the time he acquired Chartwell in 1922, Churchill loved to paint there. Eventually, he had a studio, shown above. Churchill enjoyed painting en plein air, but he also worked in his studio, often from photographs of a scene that he had admired during his travels. Churchill painted from 1915 until 1959/60. When he wrote about painting, he said: “We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We may content ourselves with a joy ride in a paintbox. For this, Audacity is the only ticket.”

During his lifetime, Churchill painted over 500 pictures, approximately 300 of them during the 1930s, his Wilderness Years. During World War II, he created only one painting, in January 1943 in Marrakech, following his meeting with President Roosevelt in Casablanca. He later gave the painting to the President. Churchill’s first painting after the war was completed in France between the election on July 5th 1945 and the announcement of the results on July 26th. No longer Prime Minister, he had time to devote himself once again to his favourite pastime.

The image featured above is part of the limited edition collector’s portfolio created by Leslie Hossack to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. She presents locations that chart Churchill’s personal and political life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874 until his death in London in 1965. THE CHURCHILL PHOTOGRAPHS are part of Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, Stalinist structures in Moscow, contested sites in Jerusalem, a Cold War bunker in Ottawa, NATO’s Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, and buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II.

To view more photographs, please visit Leslie’s website.  lesliehossack.com

Charting Churchill: The Cenotaph, Whitehall, London

The Cenotaph, Whitehall, London 2014 by Leslie Hossack

The Cenotaph, Whitehall, London 2014

© Leslie Hossack

In 1915, Winston Churchill resigned as First Lord of the Admiralty, after the failure of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns that he had championed. He remained in the cabinet, in the lowly post of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He was somewhat despondent but soon, while at Hoe Farm, he took up painting, a pastime that would bring him pleasure for the rest of his life.

However, as always, Winston craved action. In November 1916, when he was a 42-year-old married man with three small children, he resigned from the cabinet and went to France to command the Royal Scots Fusiliers in the trenches. Here he seemed to be seeking solace and redemption. After six months, Churchill returned to London and the House of Commons, still representing Dundee. In July 1917 and in December 1918, he was again elected there.

The year 1918 marked the birth of the Churchills’ fourth child, Marigold Frances. It also signaled the end of Word War I on Armistice Day, November 11th 1918. During the conflict, the British Empire suffered over 1,00,000 military deaths. Fortunately, Winston was not one of them. The Cenotaph, shown above, was completed in 1919 and commemorated the losses during Word War I. Eventually, it was also consecrated to the memory of individuals who died during World War II. Over his long career of public service, in the military and in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill attended many memorial services at the Cenotaph on Whitehall.

The image featured above is part of the limited edition collector’s portfolio created by Leslie Hossack to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. She presents locations that chart Churchill’s personal and political life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874 until his death in London in 1965. THE CHURCHILL PHOTOGRAPHS are part of Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, Stalinist structures in Moscow, contested sites in Jerusalem, a Cold War bunker in Ottawa, NATO’s Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, and buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II.

To view more photographs, please visit Leslie’s website.  lesliehossack.com