Prime Minister of England.
An extraordinary Photograph of Churchill seated in the library, his favorite room in the Villa la Pausa, with several Impressionist paintings above the bookcase, Signed, “Winston S. Churchill.” Churchill, seen from the side, smoking a cigar, is reading The Herald Tribune. A magnificient and highly unusual photograph, signed by Churchill on the white area of the photograph. Circa 1956-1960. The black and white photograph measures 9 inches wide by 9 inches high.
Villa La Pausa was the estate of Winston Churchill’s long time friend and agent Emery Reves. Reves met Winston Churchill in 1937, becoming his literary agent and immediately setting out to have Winston Churchill’s anti-Nazi articles published throughout the world. This was a significantly greater audience than Churchill had previously had in Britain alone. Writing in 1940, Churchill commented, “I can speak from personal experience of his altogether exceptional abilities and connections,” later that year describing Reves as “a most brilliant writer who holds our views very strongly.”
When Churchill was elected Prime Minister, he sent Reves to New York to work on British propaganda for both North and South America. His mission, Reves wrote to Winston Churchill shortly before his departure, would be to persuade those in the New World “that Hitler is directly menacing the American nations and he will conquer them one by one just as he conquered Europe.” He would seek to persuade the people of the United States “that principles like ‘neutrality,’ ‘isolation,’ ‘non-intervention,’ ‘defense of the national territory, but no war’ — principles which also Great Britain has followed until she was plunged into war, and which also have been the principles of some twenty European nations until they were conquered one by one, are principles of a lost world, which lead every nation to the abyss.” After the war, Reves bought from Churchill the rights to publish his war memoirs outside of Britain even before Churchill had written one word of them. He was instrumental in persuading Churchill to change the title of the first volume from “The Downward Path” to “The Gathering Storm” and had considerable editorial input throughout Churchill’s six volume history of World War II. He also had similar input into Churchill’s “History of the English Speaking Peoples.”
Reves and his American former fashion model companion, Wendy Russell, made their home in the early 1950’s in the Villa la Pausa, originally constructed for fashion designer Coco Chanel by Churchill’s friend, the Duke of Westminster. Between 1956 and 1960, Churchill stayed at Reve’s palatial villa in the south of France for thirteen months. Surrounded by Reve’s collection of Impressionist paintings, Churchill pursued his own passion for painting. In November 1960, Churchill wrote to Wendy, “the months I spent at your charming house were among the brightest in my life.”
In 1985, Reves’ widow established the Reves Collection at the Dallas Museum of Art that included the re-creation, within the museum, of the Villa la Pausa, containing their collection of Impressionist paintings and the “spirit” of Winston Churchill pursuing “painting as a pastime.”
Matted in blue grey and off white and framed in a gold gilt frame. Framed dimensions are 15 3/4″ wide by 17 inches high.
This item is associated with these categories in our inventory:
- World Leaders
- World War II