Sir Winston Churchill had never visited an art gallery before the age of 40, according to his wife. However, at the age of 40–not coincidentally, a low point in his career after having lost the position as the First Lord of the Admiralty–he suddenly found painting as a passion. It would become an important and lasting passion for him, and would played a prominent role in the last 40 years of his life. For a late starter, he was an acceptable painter–he learnt his art from his sister-in-law, Goonie Churchill.
He was an prolific painter–although no so much during the war years–but he refused to sign many paintings because he wasn’t satisfied with them. [Photo by Frank Scherschel for TIME/LIFE]