We welcomed a special guest at Sudeley Castle this week as Sir Winston Churchill’s great-granddaughter visited to see her great-grandfather’s oil painting hanging in the Morning Room.
The beautiful artwork, called ‘Cap d’Ail, Alpes-Maritimes’ was painted by the former Prime Minister in 1952 while he was staying in Cap d’Ail, across the bay from Monte Carlo in the South of France.
Marina Brounger visited Sudeley for a tour and lunch with castle chatelaine Lady Ashcombe, and to see the painting which is being loaned to the castle for the summer by the Royal Academy of Arts.
It is on display to the public daily, along with an existing collection of significant artworks at the Castle, such as the famous 16th century ‘The Allegory of the Tudor Succession’ by Lucas de Heere which portrays four of the Tudor monarchs.
Among many others, the castle is also home to a portrait of Rubens by Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641), a rare example of one great artist being painted by another, as Van Dyck worked under Rubens in his studio.
Wendy Walton, general manager at Sudeley Castle, said: “We were delighted to welcome Marina for the day at Sudeley and we feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to display Sir Winston Churchill’s work here and offer all our visitors the chance to see it. It is a real joy to behold and has a real sense of summer fun about it, so it is great that we will have it on show here over the coming months.”
Sir Winston Churchill started painting at the age of 40 whilst suffering from depression. He was self-taught and went on to produce around 500 works throughout his life. In 1948 he was appointed Honorary Academician Extraordinary by the Royal Academy for “achievements in the art of painting”. It was then that he gave his painting, Cap d’Ail, Alpes-Maritimes’, to the Royal Academy of Arts for its permanent collection.
Other fascinating collections on display at Sudeley Castle include one of the most important collections of textiles in the country, a collection of more than 200 autographs from high-profile personalities form the Victorian era and other historic artefacts from the castle’s 1,000 year history, including personal possessions from Queen Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives.