Winston Churchill, the man who loved to play with colors:

It is incredibly phenomenal that Winston Churchill, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, not only created some extraordinary scientific inventions, but he also produced some fine pieces of art.

Sir Winston Churchill served twice as the Prime Minister of Great Britain. He first served from 1940-1945 when the entire nation was going through the dark phase of the Second World War. Secondly, he served post-war period, i.e. from 1951-1955. It was during WWII when Churchill came up with some strikingly scientific discoveries, which eventually helped the country to win the war.

Apart from amazing scientific inventions, this great man was also profoundly interested in the world of colours. He was, in fact, a passionate painter who seeks painting as an alternative to relieve his mind, body and soul. Whenever he felt disturbed because of political issues, he chose to paint as a destressing alternative. This was, perhaps, one of the reasons that the world could see the brighter side of scientist Winston Churchill.

Churchill was in his middle ages when he started painting. It was June 1915 in the garden of Chartwell, the country house of Winston Churchill, where for the first time, he took the paint box of his young nephew given by his sister-in-law to give a try. His effort proved to be a success when he came up next morning with an oil painting. He said, “Experiments with a child’s paintbox led me the next morning to produce a complete outfit in oils.”   At that time, he himself did not know that the painting which he once opted for time passing would become an inseparable part of his life, the Express reports.

According to Winston Churchill, there had to be some specific qualities in a person to be a good and sincere painter. He said, “The first quality that is needed is audacity. There really is no time for the deliberate approach. We must not be too ambitious. We cannot aspire to masterpieces. We just content ourselves with a joy ride in a paintbox. And for this audacity is the only ticket.”

Sir Winston Churchill was so passionate about his painting that in his lifetime, he produced more than 500 paintings. His piece, The Goldfish Pool At Chartwell, was created by him in 1932. This oil painting won the maximum bidding of £1,762,500 from a private buyer of UK. Then, the painting which the auctioneers marked as “extremely personal”, estimated between £400,000 and £600,000. His urge for painting was then boosted by some famous artists and teachers, and by 1921, he was completely ready for the exhibition in Paris. Here, he exhibited his art under the pseudonym of Charles Morin. In 1947, he chose the pseudonym of David Winter when he offered his paintings to the Royal Academy. The “Loup River Alpes Maritimes” was the chosen painting which was kept securely by the Tate for the national collection. Later in his life, Churchill was felicitated with the title of Honorary Academician Extraordinary.

Churchill had an intense passion for painting about which he said: “When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject.”

The following are the lines written by Sir Winston Churchill which proved very true in his life, “Happy are the painters, for they shall never be lonely: light and colour, peace and hope will keep them company to the end – or almost to the end of the day.”

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE