Sir Winston Churchill, O.M., R.A. (1874-1965)
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Sir Winston Churchill, O.M., R.A. (1874-1965)

Interior of a Studio, Lady Kitty Somerset at an easel

Sir Winston Churchill, O.M., R.A. (1874-1965)
Interior of a Studio, Lady Kitty Somerset at an easel
signed with initials 'WSC' (lower left)
oil on canvas
27 x 20 in. (68.6 x 50.8 cm.)
Painted circa 1922.
Lady Spencer-Churchill, and by descent to the present owner.
D. Coombs, Churchill his paintings, London, 1967, p. 19, no. 28, pl. III.
D. Coombs, Sir Winston Churchill's Life Through his Paintings, London, 2003, p. 250, no. C 28, fig. 12, p. 19, illustrated.
Fulton, Westminster College, Winston Churchill Memorial and Library, on loan.
London, Knoedler & Co., Painting as a Pastime by Sir Winston Churchill, May - June 1977, no. 6.
New York, National Academy of Design, 1983, catalogue not traced.
Smithsonian Institute, D.C., 1983, catalogue not traced.
Albany, New York, New York State Museum of Art, 1983, catalogue not traced.
West Palm Beach, Norton Museum of Art, 1984, catalogue not traced.
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Sale room notice
Please note the additional information for the sitter of the present lot:

Lady Katherine de Vere Beauclerk was born on 25 May 1877. She was the daughter of William Ameleus Aubrey de Vere Beauclerk, 10th Duke of St. Albans and Grace Bernal-Osborne. She married, firstly, Henry Charles Somers Augustus Somerset, son of Lord Henry Richard Charles Somerset and Lady Isabella Caroline Cocks, on 23 January 1896. She and Henry Charles Somers Augustus Somerset were divorced in 1920. She married, secondly, Maj.-Gen. Hon. Sir William Lambton, son of George Frederick D'Arcy Lambton, 2nd Earl of Durham and Lady Beatrix Frances Hamilton, on 22 April 1921. She died on 1 February 1958 at age 80. From 23 January 1896, her married name became Somerset. From 22 April 1921, her married name became Lambton.

Lot Essay

Churchill took up painting as a pastime in 1915 in an attempt to lift the depression after his enforced resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty. At the time, he and Clementine were renting Hoe Farm near Godalming in Surrey for the summer, and sharing a house in Cromwell Road, South Kensington with Winston's brother Jack. Their neighbours and close friends were the painter Sir John Lavery and his wife Hazel.
It was the Lavery's who encouraged and advised Churchill with his hobby, many of his early pictures were painted in Lavery's studio where, among other pictures he painted a self-portrait and another of Lavery at his easel. The subject of another artist painting at an easel was one of Churchill's favourite motifs in the early years. Along with the present view of Lady Kitty Somerset at an easel, Coombs records A scene in Sir John Lavery's Studio with two unknown ladies (C 26) and The Long Library at Blenheim in 1916 with Sir John Lavery's wife Hazel and Churchill's sister-in-law, Gwendeline (C 24).

By 1922 the Churchill family had moved to Chartwell Manor at Westerham in Kent and his essays "Hobbies" and "Painting as a Pastime" had been published in two successive issues of The Strand Magazine in December 1921 and January 1922.

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