18 of 222 portraits of Winston Churchill
by Graham Sutherland
sketchbook, 14 pages, 1954
10 1/4 in. x 14 1/4 in. (260 mm x 362 mm)
Given by the artist's widow, Mrs Graham Sutherland, 1980
Sitterback to top
- Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), Prime Minister. Sitter in 222 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Graham Vivian Sutherland (1903-1980), Painter. Artist associated with 23 portraits, Sitter in 62 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Of the fourteen pages remaining in this sketch book, a number relate to Sutherland's observations of his sitter's right sleeve. It is likely that further studies of the sitter's hands (Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick), came from this sketch book. Here, two carefully observed arrangements of the sitter's right hand as it grasps the arm of the chair, are seen on one sheet. A more spontaneous rendition of the right sleeve and an indication of the position of the head, suggestive of a schematic idea for a composition, are juxtaposed with a series of gestural marks on the other. The turning of the sketchbook from horizontal to vertical and back conveys the artist's sense of urgency, as he captured detail in the short time of a sitting.
Events of 1954back to top
Current affairsRoger Bannister runs the four-minute mile. Bannister was the first man to achieve the 'miracle mile', a feat that was thought by some to be impossible, beating his rival, the Australian John Landy, to the record. Bannister went on to a career as a distinguished neurologist.
Food rationing ends in Britain.
Art and scienceJ.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language and literature and drew on his scholarly interests in history, language and mythology to create the fictional land of Middle Earth where the books are set.
Williams Golding publishes, Lord of the Flies.
InternationalThe South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) is established in Bangkok. This international defence organisation was established as part of the 'containment' policy of limiting the influence of communism. SEATO was, however, found to be ineffective as the member organisations failed to agree on combined action; it was disbanded in 1977.
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