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Churchill’s studio at Chartwell

Interior of Winston S. Churchill's studio at Chartwell, Kent. Paintings by Churchill displayed on walls. Box of paints on the floor. Chair draped with a beige jacket sits in front of  and easel with painting of the golden orfe pond. Another portrait stands on an easel.
Sir Winston Churchill's studio at Chartwell. | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra. Paintings by Winston S. Churchill © Churchill Heritage Ltd.

The studio is home to the largest collection of Winston Churchill's paintings. With his paints still laid out and a canvas waiting for completion, it is displayed to look like he has just stepped out to the garden for a moment.

The studio space

The studio is teeming with Churchill canvasses, most unframed and in various stages of completion.

The studio was built as a space for Churchill to paint without interruption but was also a blessing for Clementine Churchill as it stopped her husband dropping paint on the carpets in the house.

Established as a place for painting in the 1930s and expanded in the 1950s, the studio became a favourite refuge for Churchill. When he was not outdoors, he was in the studio.

‘When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting.’

– Sir Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill the painter

Many people know the story of Winston Churchill the Prime Minister, but fewer know of the artistic side to the man.

Indeed, it was only in later life, at the age of 41, that he began to pick up the paintbrush at all. It was his sister-in-law, Goonie, that first encouraged him to try painting and it soon became an engrossing occupation that would remain with him for the rest of his active life.

Discover more about Churchill's love of painting as you tour the studio, or maybe join one of the talks throughout the day.

The paintings

Inside the studio you'll find recognisable views from Chartwell, but also landscapes Churchill worked on during his travels in Europe, Africa and North America.

The studio walls are hung with many of his unframed canvases in various stages of completion. There is also Churchill's only attempt at sculpture to be seen, which was executed whilst he himself was being sculpted by Oscar Nemon in 1954.

‘Just to paint is great fun. The colours are lovely to look at and delicious to squeeze out. Matching them, however crudely, with what you see is fascinating and absolutely absorbing.’

– Sir Winston Churchill, Painting as a Pastime

Along with his paintings, there are several items of painting equipment on show. Churchill's easel with an unfinished canvas upon it, and the armchair in which he painted, can all be seen as you tour the studio.

A close-up image of two visitors using the interactive 'touch wall' to find out more about paintings at Chartwell, Kent
Visitors using the interactive 'touch wall' at Chartwell | © National Trust Images/Sam Milling

Interactive touchscreen exhibit

Although Churchill never considered himself as a professional artist, over his lifetime he produced over 550 known canvases.

The interactive ‘touch-wall’ explores Churchill’s artwork in depth and detail, so you can discover his paintings at your own pace, choosing your own personal interests.

The exhibit highlights the style and techniques Churchill developed over the years as well as the geographical and creative journey he pursued during his 50 years of painting.

A long view of the red brick house at Chartwell in Kent with a sweeping lawn running up to the terrace of the house and trees surrounding the grounds

Discover more at Chartwell

Find out when Chartwell is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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