Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill, the National Portrait Gallery are currently displaying a carefully curated selection of images of the wartime leader taken from the Photographs Collection. This range of images spans Churchill’s earliest years in politics to his worldwide reputation not only as a shrewd negotiator and diplomat, but as the man who chiefly led Britain in their defeat of the Nazi regime.
Visitors will find iconic portraits, illustrating his legendary bulldog persistence and steadfastness, alongside more relaxed images captured whilst at home, and which allow us to better examine Churchill’s many guises as a writer, soldier, painter, friend and family man. One image, taken in 1903 by George Charles Beresford, shows the young politician proudly looking into the camera lens and sporting his trademark polka dot bow tie, whilst another, taken by Cecil Beaton in 1940 shows a Prime Minister embarking on the most challenging (although ultimately rewarding) years of his career.
Other highlights of this free exhibition include an album of personal snapshots of Clementine and Winston Churchill’s voyage to the Middle East with Walter Guinness, 1st Baron Moyne in 1934, during the politician’s ‘wilderness years’ . The couple visited Athens, Cyprus, Jericho and Petra and travelled across the Sinai desert to Cairo, where Churchill painted the pyramids. This album of snapshots was most likely compiled by Lady Moyne and is displayed here for the first time.
Public and Private: Winston Churchill in Photographs, Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery, London, until 5th June 2016. For more information visit the website.