The Churchill boom

May 27 2011

Image of The Churchill boom

Picture: Christie's

The Beach at Walmer, painted in 1938 by Sir Winston Churchill, has sold for £313,250.

Churchill was certainly a handy painter, and in the list of history's most important figures he ranks near the top. But I wonder if his paintings are becoming a little over-priced?

I can see why, for today's market, his paintings are attractive. But when valuing art you always have to take the long view. So, one has to ask whether the fascination for all things Churcill will be as strong in, say, 100 years, or will he have been eclipsed by a new clutch of popular heroes?

Would a painting by Oliver Cromwell, or Churchill's ancestor the Duke of Marlborough, fetch such sums today? Probably not. The best indicator of value in a painting will always be the quality of the work itself - nothing else really matters.

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