Lot 6
  • 6


120,000 - 180,000 GBP
430,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Sir Winston Churchill, K.G., O.M., C.H., Hon. R.A.
  • Mimizan
  • signed with initials
  • oil on canvas


Gifted by the Artist to Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein in 1950
His sale, Sotheby's London, 26th November 1969, lot 260, where acquired by Mr and Mrs Arthur Cload
Gifted by the above to the Winston Churchill Society of Edmonton, Alberta


Edmonton, Government House, long-term loan, 1991-2006


David Coombs, Churchill: His Paintings, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1967, cat. no.124, illustrated p.130;
David Coombs and Minnie S. Churchill, Sir Winston Churchill His Life and His Paintings, Ware House Publishing, Lyme Regis, 2011, cat. no.62, illustrated p.46.

Catalogue Note

We are grateful to David Coombs for his kind assistance with the cataloguing of the present work.

During the 1920s, Churchill was a frequent guest at the Woolsack in Mimizan on Les Landes, near Bordeaux, which was the French hunting lodge of his friend Bendor, Duke of Westminster. Mimizan was a large estate with extensive woodland and a large lake, with herds of deer and wild boar, which the Duke enjoyed hunting. The Duke always brought together a lively party at Woolsack including celebrities of the period such as Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin and Salvador Dalí as well as the artist Sir John Lavery, one of Churchill’s personal friends and, crucially, the artist who taught him so much about painting.

Churchill was especially drawn to the woodland on the estate and completed a long series of paintings that focused on the trees. The present work is a strong example with the tall trees providing a dynamic contrast to the lake and horizontal focus of the water bank in the background. The fluid brushwork and bold colour palette undoubtedly draw inspiration from the work of the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists who Churchill first came across in Paris: ‘Have not Monet and Manet, Cézanne and Matisse rendered to painting something of the same service which Keats and Shelley gave to poetry after the solemn and ceremonious literary perfections of the eighteenth century? They have brought back to the pictorial art a new draught of joie de vivre; and the beauty of their work is instinct with gaiety, and floats in sparkling air…’ (Churchill, ‘Painting as a Pastime’, quoted in Coombs and Churchill, op.cit., 2011, p.71).

Provenance plays such an important part in Churchill’s oeuvre. He never sold a work during his lifetime and the vast majority were given to friends, colleagues, employees, foreign dignitaries or family members. It is significant that Churchill gave the present painting to Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, nicknamed 'Monty' and 'The Spartan General' who was ennobled after WWII. Montgomery had served in both World Wars and his leadership at the Second Battle of El Alamein was a significant turning point in the Western Desert Campaign. Prime Minister David Lloyd George was also the recipient of a Mimizan landscape.  

Sold to Benefit the Winston Churchill Society of Edmonton, Alberta
The Edmonton Society is the first in the world and was endorsed by Sir Winston during his lifetime. It supports graduate and undergraduate scholarships in engineering, science and history at Churchill College, Cambridge, Oxford University, and at the University of Alberta. High School students are also supported with scholarships to honour speech and debate.