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

Inlet in the South of France

Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, O.M., R.A. (1874-1965)
Inlet in the South of France
signed with initials ‘W.S.C.’ (lower right)
oil on canvas
20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in the 1920s.
A gift from the artist to Mr R.J. Marnham, owner of Chartwell Farm, 1945.
Property of a Lady of Title; Christie’s, London, 1 March 1968, lot 66.
Mr F. Bartlett Watt.
Mrs Lucienne Watt.
with Pickering and Chatto, London.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 28 June 2006, lot 13, where purchased by the present owner.
D. Coombs with M. Churchill, Sir Winston Churchill His Life and his Paintings, London, 2011, pp. 241, 256, no. C513, illustrated on the dust jacket.

Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Anne Haasjes
Anne Haasjes

Lot Essay

During the 1920s the Churchills were frequent travellers and holidaymakers, staying with family members and friends all over England and Europe. Paintings of scenes in Norfolk, Surrey, Venice, the French Riviera, and the South of France record their visits, as Churchill never travelled without his full painting paraphernalia, and took every opportunity to relax with his paintbrush in hand, always recording the beauty of the landscape around him, often at sunrise or sunset. He was a particularly frequent visitor to the South of France in this decade where he enjoyed the hospitality of his close friend, the Duke of Westminster at his hunting lodge, the Woolsack at Mimizan in Les Landes, near Bordeaux (see lot 20). The magical scenery of this area inspired many landscapes of dense woodland, lakes and garden scenes, but also coastal landscapes, capturing and relishing the tranquillity of the sun-dappled water and russet-toned rocks, which obviously appealed to the artist.

In his article 'Hobbies', published in Nash's Pall Mall Magazine, in December 1925, Churchill explained how the process of painting had opened up his senses to the world around him, 'Not only does the act of painting, divert, rest and stimulate the mind, it also expands and develops the power of observation in the realms of both nature and of art. Until I began to paint, I had no idea how much the landscape had to show. All its colouring became more vivid, more significant, more distinguishable. I found myself instinctively as I walked noting the tint of a leaf, the reflection in a pool, the dreamy purple shades of mountains, the exquisite lacery of winter branches, the dim pale silhouettes of far horizons. These and a dozen others had been perceived and admired before in a general sense, but now they acquired a new and particular significance. The mind, led on by interest and fancy, begins to register impressions of much greater detail: and each impression carries with it a pleasure and a profit of its own' (quoted in D. Coombs, op. cit., p. 108).

The present work was given by Churchill to R.J. Marnham as a gift; he kept the farm at Chartwell, the artist's home in the Weald of Kent where he lived from 1922 until his death.

We are very grateful to David Coombs for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.

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