London, Oct 21 (EFE).- A painting of a bucolic landscape in southern France by former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill fetched 1.7 million pounds ($ 2.3 million) at a London auction.
Churchill created The Bridge at Aix-en-Provence in 1948 as a tribute to Paul Cézanne, who had painted the landscape twice.
The Christie’s auction house lot Wednesday included various works by the former British PM, who led the United Kingdom through most of World War II, and other paintings by artists who had inspired him.
Churchill found his passion for painting in 1915 at the age of 40 and it became an enormously important hobby to the politician.
“He took up painting as a distraction with depression and so it became a great passion for him (…) because it distracted him from all the pressures of his political life,” Nicholas Orchard, head of the department of British and Irish Modern Art at Christie’s, told Efe.
Churchill gave this particular artwork, which depicts the Trois-Sautets bridge over the River Arc, to his paint supplier, a man called Willy Sax.
Sax was a paint manufacturer based in Switzerland and he supplied Churchill with materials for many years before they finally met in Zurich in 1946. They struck up a lifelong friendship.
“Willy then produced different paint colors specifically for Churchill. They used to go on painting holidays together,” Orchard added.
When Churchill was elected prime minister for a second time in 1951, “Willy Sax became an informal diplomat between the two countries,” the expert continued.
One of Churchill’s other works, View of the Mediterranean near San Raphael, a bright seascape with a rich palette of blues and greens created in 1923, sold for 525,000 pounds.EFE