England

Churchill paintings accepted in lieu of inheritance tax

View From a Bathing Hut at the Miami Surf Club Image copyright Churchill Heritage Ltd
Image caption View From a Bathing Hut at the Miami Surf Club is to remain in Churchill War Rooms off Whitehall

A collection of 37 paintings by Sir Winston Churchill have been given to the nation in lieu of £9,404,990 tax, following his daughter's death.

Lady Mary Soames, who died last year at 91, was the the last survivor of Sir Winston's five children.

All but two of the paintings she owned have been allocated to the National Trust and will remain at Chartwell, Churchill's family home in Kent.

The others will stay in the Houses of Parliament and the Churchill War Rooms.

Lady Soames wanted Coast Scene near Cannes (1935) to stay in the Commons and View From a Bathing Hut at the Miami Surf Club, 1946 at the war rooms off Whitehall in central London.

The paintings have been accepted in lieu of inheritance tax.

Churchill produced more than 500 artworks, many of them at Chartwell, and continued his hobby well into his 80s.

Lady Soames previously wrote that "painting literally grabbed" her father in 1915, when he was 41, "thereafter playing an increasing and abiding role in his life, renewing the source of his great inner strength and enabling him to face storms, ride out depressions and rise above the tough passages in his political life".

The 50th anniversary of the World War Two leader's death in 1965 was commemorated in January.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Lady Soames, Sir Winston's last surviving child, is pictured with her father in 1964

As well as 37 of Churchill's works, the collection accepted for the nation also includes a painting by Sir John Lavery of the politician standing at his easel and the Aly Khan Gold Cup, which was won by Churchill's horse, High Hat.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "It is fitting that in the 50th year since his death these paintings by the great war-time leader Sir Winston Churchill will be displayed in three very significant locations that helped shape his life and gives us an opportunity to appreciate the artistic talent of a man who was a colossal figure in world politics."

Chairman of the Acceptance in Lieu panel, Edward Harley, said Churchill remained one of the UK's greatest figures.

"His paintings let us see the man in the round and not just as a great politician," he said.

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