Churchill’s studio at Chartwell
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.
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.
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.
Explore the beloved home of one of Britain's greatest politicians, Sir Winston Churchill. The house has many treasures and provides an intimate portrait of the Churchill family.
Enjoy the views that the Churchills chose Chartwell for, and explore the garden they created and loved, from Lady Churchill’s Rose Garden, to the Walled Garden Sir Winston helped build.
Discover more about the extraordinary life of Sir Winston Churchill in this permanent exhibition at Chartwell, including five must-see items from the curator.
The Trust’s story at Chartwell began whilst Winston Churchill and his family were still in residence. Discover how we helped to preserve a significant piece of British history.
There are thousands of significant collection items at Chartwell, each with their own story to tell. We’ve picked some highlights, including Churchill’s Nobel Prize and speech box
A guided house highlights tour is great way to discover more about Chartwell’s stories. Choose from four different themes focusing on specific elements of Chartwell’s history.