Revealed: when Winston Churchill—aka David Winter—submitted work to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

The Art Newspaper

Among the surprises in the Royal Academy’s coming celebratory show on the story of its Summer Exhibitions will be the presence of Winston Churchill, who submitted two paintings in 1947 under the pseudonym David Winter. Fortunately they were both accepted by the hanging committee. The academy’s president, Alfred Munnings, then shouted out: “Good job you passed them – they’re Churchill’s!” Once accepted, Churchill outed himself, exhibiting under his own name. Neither picture, Winter Sunshine and The Loup River, Alpes Maritimes, was for sale, and in 1955, just after retiring as prime minister, he donated the riverscape to the Tate, a gift that could hardly have been turned down by a government-funded museum. In the Academy’s coming show on The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition, which opens on 12 June in its newly expanded premises, the other “David Winter” will be returning. Winter Sunshine (1925) is coming on loan from Chartwell, the statesman’s Kent residence, now owned by the National Trust.