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Château St-Georges-Motel

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We are grateful to David Coombs for his kind assistance with the cataloguing of the present work. The Château St Georges-Motel near Dreux, Normandy was the summer home of Consuelo and her husband Jacques Balsan, a record breaking and pioneering French balloon, airplane and hydroplane pilot who once worked with the Wright brothers. Consuelo, one of the American Vanderbilts, was previously married to Churchill's cousin, Sunny, the ninth Duke of Marlborough for 11 years and after her divorce and re-marriage she remained close to several members of the family including Winston and Clementine who were frequent visitors to the Château.\nConsuelo fondly remembered Winston's excursions in her memoirs published in 1953: 'He used to spend his mornings dictating to his secretary and his afternoons painting either in our garden or in some other site that pleased him. His departure on these expeditions was invariably accompanied by a general upheaval of the household. The painting paraphernalia with its easel, parasol and stool had to be assembled; the brushes, freshly cleaned, to be found; the canvases chosen, the right hat sorted out, the cigar box replenished. At last, driven by our chauffeur, accompanied by a detective the British Government insisted upon providing, he would depart with the genial wave and rubicund smile we have learned to associate with his robust optimism. On his return he would amuse us by repeating the comments of those self-sufficient critics who congregate around easels. An old Frenchman one day told him, "with a few more lessons you will be come quite good!" - a verdict connoisseurs have already endorsed' (Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan, The Glitter and the Gold, 1953, quoted in Mary Soames, Winston Churchill, His Life as a Painter, Collins, London, 1990, p.88).\n\nSt Georges-Motel was also a favourite location for Churchill's fellow artist and friend, Paul Maze, who had a studio in the Château's mill, the Moulin de Montreuil. Churchill's last painting trip before the Second World War was with Maze at the Château in August 1939 when Maze noted in his diary on 27th August that Churchill had remarked, 'this is the last picture we shall paint in peace for a very long time' (Maze, quoted in Coombs and Churchill, op.cit., 2011, p.155).\n\nThe striking architecture of the Château in contrast to its surrounding moat, provided Churchill with an ideal opportunity to demonstrate his fluid handling and attention to detail. Indeed, Consuelo recalled that when 'Winston decided he wanted to paint our moat, after careful thought he made up his mind that he preferred the water rough to smooth. Sending to Dreux for a photographer, he placed two gardeners in a boat and told them to create ripples with their oars...With charateristic thoroughness Winston persisted until all possibilities had been exhausted...' (Balsan, quoted in Coombs and Churchill, op.cit., 2011, p.148).\nSigned with initials


Oil on canvas


Sir Winston Churchill


The canvas has been lined. There are pinholes in each of the four corners of the canvas which appear to be consistent with the artist's working method. Areas of fine craquelure and reticulation are scattered throughout the paint surface, including but not limited to, the sky at the upper left and the water. There is some light surface dirt. Excepting the above the work appears to be in good condition. Ultraviolet light shows small spots of florescence in the each of the upper corners, an area to the centre of the composition and further traces to the lower left and right. The picture is presented in an ornate wooden frame. Please contact the department on +44 (0) 207 293 6424 if you have any questions regarding the present work. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."


51 by 61cm.; 20 by 24in.


London, M. Knoedler & Co., "Painting as a Pastime" by Sir Winston Churchill K.G., O.M., C.H., May - June 1977, number untraced.


David Coombs, Churchill: His Paintings, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1967, cat. no.232, illustrated p.50; David Coombs and Minnie S. Churchill, Sir Winston Churchill's Life through his Paintings, Chaucer Press, London, 2003, cat. no.C232, illustrated p.181; David Coombs and Minnie S. Churchill, Sir Winston Churchill His Life and His Paintings, Ware House Publishing, Lyme Regis, 2011, cat. no.C232, illustrated p.181.


A gift from the Artist to his daughter Mary


Signed with initials



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*Beachten Sie, dass der Preis nicht auf den aktuellen Wert umgerechnet wird, sondern sich auf den tatsächlichen Endpreis zum Zeitpunkt des Verkaufs des Objekts bezieht.


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