Churchill: The Statesman as Artist

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A tribute in two parts, Churchill: The Statesman as Artist introduces two complementary sides of a statesman who died half a century ago but whose memory remains constant. Historian David Cannadine outlines Churchill’s life, most interestingly describing the limited education Churchill received, schooling that would not pass muster today. Yet despite this lacuna, Churchill’s army and political years attest to a brilliant career, ennobled by the artistic streak he demonstrated in his paintings, a hobby adopted in middle age.

Although an outstanding orator, Churchill’s speeches at the Royal Academy of Art annual dinners are not arresting, lacking his usual verve. In compensation, two 1930s critiques of the paintings chosen for the exhibition appeared as articles in the Daily Mail, an English newspaper not generally renowned for its erudition. Both articles generously and wittily praise the paintings neither downplaying nor exaggerating the talent displayed.

The book’s second section, largely devoted to appraisals by celebrated artists most of whom Churchill knew personally are more reserved, only Sir John Rothenstein’s allowing a glimmer of personal feeling. The thirty-two paintings and several photographs reproduced in Churchill: The Statesman as Artist are considerably more captivating than the narrative framework which makes a disappointing tribute.

Reviewed By:

Author David Cannadine
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury Continuum
Publish Date 2018-Nov-06
ISBN 9781472945211
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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