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Winston Churchill’s happy trees tour the US

Winston Churchill, The Sunken Garden of La Dragonnière, Cap Martin (around 1930s) Churchill Heritage Limited, courtesy of Heather James Fine Art

An exhibition of oil paintings by Winston Churchill from his family's collection is on a US tour this year. The family of Churchill's late grandson, Julian Sandys, is consigning nine of the 11 paintings in the show, which feature landscapes, still lifes and various scenes from gardens and his favourite holiday destinations in France and Morocco. Painting was “a cathartic hobby for Churchill since it provided a sanctuary and a place to rejuvenate his mind and body—given what he wrote about painting, it’s clear that his practice contributed to his professional life, as his writings and speeches are filled with phrases that appear to have derived from a painter’s mind”, says Duncan Sandys, Churchill's great-grandson. And Churchill’s favourite subject to paint? “Trees!—because, unlike people if you didn’t do them justice, trees can’t talk back to you,” Sandys says. The works are currently on view at Heather James Fine Art in Palm Desert, California (until 30 May) and will later travel to the gallery’s outposts in San Francisco (1-30 June) and Jackson Hole, Wyoming (1 July-16 September).