The portrait of Winston Churchill, which the British leader himself disliked, will go under the hammer

The portrait of Winston Churchill, which the British leader himself disliked, will be put up for auction.

The painting by modernist artist Graham Sutherland was created as part of preparations for a larger portrait, which Churchill hated and was later destroyed, according to AP.

The surviving study, an oil painting on canvas, depicts Churchill’s head in profile against a dark background. The work is expected to be sold at Sotheby’s auction in London on June 6 for between £500,000 and £800,000 ($622,000–995,000).

Sutherland was commissioned by the parliament to paint Churchill in honor of his 80th birthday in 1954. The full-length portrait was unveiled in parliament that same year, and Churchill jokingly referred to it as a ‘remarkable example of modern art.’ It is said that Churchill complained that in the painting he looked ‘half-witted, though it was not true.’ The painting was delivered to his home, and no one else saw it again. Years later, the Churchill family announced that it had been destroyed.

Its fate was poetically recreated in an episode of ‘The Crown,’ in which Churchill’s wife, Clementine, watches as the painting burns.

Sotheby’s displayed the painting for public viewing in the room where Churchill was born 150 years ago, at Blenheim Palace. The painting will also be exhibited at Sotheby’s offices in New York from May 3 to May 16 and in London from May 25 to June 5.

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