Posts Tagged ‘cigar’

Nazis defaced portrait with cigar to mock Churchill

October 24th, 2015

During the Second World War, the house was taken over by Nazi officers, with its content left to their mercies.

Research shows one or more used a lighted cigarette to burn a hole through the canvas near to Sir Jesse’s painted mouth, inserting a cigar into the charred hole to mock Sir Winston’s own smoking habits.

Sir Jesse Boot, founder of Boots Company

When they were defeated, the house returned to the family and the picture was returned to the Boots headquarters in Nottingham in the 1950s.

It was only then that the damage was noticed.

The painting, now fully restored, has been loaned to the National Portrait Gallery by the company, where it is on display.

Secret of Winston Churchill’s unpopular Sutherland portrait revealed

Its history has now been pieced together from the Boots archive, and released to the public as part of a new project into the medics of the late Victorian era.

The project is intended to showcase the individuals who “pioneered social reform and made life-saving advances and discoveries in the diagnosis and cure of illness”.

It includes portraits and information on people such as Havelock Ellis, who raised the profile of the scientific study of sexuality, Florence Nightingale, and Frederick Treves, who worked with Joseph Merrill, the ‘Elephant Man’.

• Churchill presented himself as a ‘swashbuckling hero who would rescue any damsels’

Sir Jesse Boot, 1st Baron Trent, was the son of John Boot, the founder of the chemist, and is credited with transforming it into a national retailer.

Dr Peter Funnell , head of research programmes at NPG, said: “The Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue is the result of in-depth and wide ranging scholarship, which provides the first comprehensive pictorial and biographical account of pioneers in the field of medicine and health.”

It is available online now.


World War Two

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