It’s hard to imagine that Winston Churchill had much spare time. But when he wasn’t leading England through the dark days of World War II, or writing the 55 volumes for which he won the 1953 Nobel Prize for literature, he was painting, and doing it with the same zeal he showed in his other activities. One of Churchill’s works, a 1936 oil on canvas called “Still Life With Orchids,” is coming up for auction later this month in London, where it’s expected to sell for a statesmanlike $1.17m.The painting will be offered by London’s MacConnal-Mason Gallery at an art fair, which is being staged from June 28 to July 4 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. When Churchill completed the work, he gave it to the wife of his daughter’s father-in-law, in whose family it has remained. “The muse of painting,” Churchill once said, rescued him from depression in a bleak period of his life, during which he was out of power and favor.
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