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Friday, 30 August 2013

Art & History: The Portrait That Was Destroyed


Graham Sutherland (August 24, 1903 – February 17, 1980) was an English artist. From 1940 Sutherland was employed as an official artist in World War II, as part of the War artist Scheme. He worked on the Home Front, depicting mining, industry, and bomb damage.
Sutherland also painted a number of portraits, with one of Somerset Maugham (1949) the first and among the most famous. When Winston Churchill was in his eighties, Sutherland painted his portrait, which had the look of a befuddled bulldog. Churchill openly reviled the work, and the portrait was destroyed: it was burned on the orders of Churchill's wife out of anger only a year or two after its completion...
The controversial portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, which Churchill himself hated because he said it 'makes me look half-witted', was commissioned in 1954 by past and present members of the House of Lords and House of Commons, and presented to the great statesman as a celebration of his eightieth birthday at a ceremony in Westminster Hall on November 30, 1954.

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