KARSH "Roaring Lion" PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPH of Winston Churchill
Original Vintage Gelatin Silver Print SIGNED by the Photographer
This item has been SOLD
6 1/2 x 9 inches (on 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch paper)
Churchill at Chartwell
Yousuf Karsh's iconic portrait of a scowling Winston Churchill ("The Roaring Lion") was taken 30 December 1941 in the Speaker's Chamber of the Ottawa House of Commons following Churchill's address to the Canadian Parliament. As official biographer Sir Martin Gilbert wrote in his own memoir, IN SEARCH OF CHURCHILL, Churchill was, at the time, "in [a] happy mood... He had just made a successful speech ['Some chicken... some neck']. He had left the parliamentary chamber smiling... Karsh had hoped for something stern and warlike. To secure the picture he wanted, he went up to Churchill and plucked the cigar out of his mouth. 'By the time I got back to my camera,' Karsh later recalled, '[Churchill] looked so belligerent he could have devoured me. It was at that instant that I took the picture.'"Karsh's portrait image has been endlessly reproduced but originals printed by him within a short time of having snapped the picture are extremely rare. This is one such print, in mint condition. It measures 6 3/4 x 9 inches (on 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch paper) and is SIGNED in pencil along the lower left edge of the border beneath the image. It is also stamped on the verso with Karsh's vintage copyright stamp. The print has been sumptuously framed in a linen-faced mat and an elegantly silvered frame (21 x 23 1/2 inches overall).According to the previous owner, a Canadian collector, this print was personally presented by Karsh to a secretarial assistant to the Canadian Speaker of the House in 1941, James Glen, as a thank you for the secretary's assistance in setting up the Speaker's Chamber for Karsh's photo session with Churchill that day.
Please Note: This is a weighty item and does not qualify for free shipping.
Bibliographic numbers (in parentheses) are from Frederick Woods' original Churchill bibliography (Woods), as emended by Richard Langworth in his Connoisseur's Guide; and from the new, greatly expanded Churchill bibliography by Ronald Cohen (Cohen).