Mary Soames records that in 1946 'Field Marshall Smuts came and stayed for several days. Winston and he spent hours closeted together; my father always set store by this great man's wisdom. Their relationship dated from 1906, when Smuts had been sent over by the Boers to represent their case to the new Liberal Government, in which Churchill was a junior minister at the Colonial Office' (Winston Churchill - His Life as a Painter, London, 1990, p. 154).
Churchill gave two paintings of the Pyramids at Giza to General Smuts. The present work was hung in the General's study at his home. The other painting, which was hung at Libertas, Pretoria, was stolen in 1972 and has never been traced.
The present work relates to another painting Cairo from the Pyramids with the Artist Painting, circa 1946 (D .Coombs, op. cit., no. C 84, fig. 44), which is in the collection of Lady Spencer Churchill, The National Trust, Chartwell, gift of the artist.
We are very grateful to David Coombs for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.