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132

Yousuf Karsh

Winston Churchill, 1941

Important Photographs from the Peter Fetterman Collection

Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh

Winston Churchill, 1941

Winston Churchill, 1941

Important Photographs from the Peter Fetterman Collection

Yousuf Karsh

1908 - 2002

Winston Churchill, 1941


Silver print, printed later and flush mounted to card. Signed in black ink in the lower margin, and titled and dated in pencil on the back of the card mount. (matted, unframed)

image: 50.8 by 40.6 cm.; 20 by 16 in. 

sheet: 60.4 by 50.8 cm.; 23¾ by 19⅞ in. 

mount: 71 by 60.2 cm.; 28 by 23 ¾ in. 

matted: 76.2 by 61 cm.; 30 by 24 in. 

This incredibly detailed and beautiful silver print is in overall excellent condition; with a tiny bump in the upper right hand margin, away from the image and only visible upon close inspection.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

Illustrated p.39, Karsh Faces of our Time, University of Toronto Press. 1971

Illustrated p.25, Karsh Beyond The Camera, David R Godine. 2012

Illustrated p.53, Yousuf Karsh Regarding Heroes, David R Godine. 2009

Illustrated p. 38, Karsh A Fifty-Year Retrospective, Little Brown and Co. 1983

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, It is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill.


Sir Winston Churchill was one of the most important figures in World History. He was an author, historian, artist, military strategist , orator ,statesman, world leader and savior of the Free World . This image is one of the greatest 20th Century portraits and cemented Karsh’s international reputation as one of the most sort after portrait photographers in the world. It demonstrates the real power of photography where subject matter and artistic talent collaborate unexpectedly to create a moment in history that endures forever and inspires each new generation.


Here are Karsh’s recollections of that special day:


"Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King said , "Karsh, we have put a few minutes aside for you but we are not going to tell the great man. Set up your camera in the Speaker’s Chamber”. And true to his promise, arm in arm with Churchill (Mackenzie King) came to the Speaker’s Chamber. I switched on my lights and immediately Winston Churchill was taken by surprise, He said “What is going on ?”. And I said “Sir I hope I will be fortunate enough to make a worthy photograph of this historic occasion.”


He banged on the nearest table he could. He said “Why was I not told? His associates and entourage laughed and that did not help matters at all. He was given a fresh cigar and he was chewing at it rather seriously and resenting the whole situation. Ultimately he said “You may take one”. I immediately went to him with an ashtray and I said “If you please sir”. He would not hear (of) removing the cigar from his mouth. Immediately I went back to my camera to make sure everything was ready. And without any premeditation but with infinite respect, I took the cigar from his lips. By the time I get back the four feet I was from the camera, he looked so belligerent he could have devoured me. Immediately with a great smile, he said, “You may take another one”. And this time he straightened up; he looked very benevolent, very benign. I took a second one. He walked towards me and shook my hand and said “You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed."