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Churchill & Parliament in Art

Parliament Creates Visual Tour of Churchill’s Career

Winston_Churchill_Vanity_Fair_1911To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death in January 1965, the website of the British Parliament has created a tribute to one of its longest-serving and most celebrated members. “Churchill and Parliament” illustrates Churchill’s lengthy career with etchings, paintings, caricatures, photographs and other media. Links to relevant newsreel footage are included as are images of the posthumous honours accorded to Churchill by Parliament including his lying in state and the statue by Oscar Nemon that flanks the entrance to the House of Commons. To view the website, please CLICK HERE.

The tribute makes full use of Parliament’s extensive art collection. Browsers will find links to information about the design of the House of Commons, which was reconstructed after being destroyed during the Blitz. Churchill himself successfully supported the idea that the new chamber be modeled after the old. This intentionally included insufficient seating for all members at once. Thus, Churchill argued, a sense of importance and urgency would be conveyed during full meetings of the House.

The stone arch leading into the pre-war House of Commons was reconstructed at Churchill’s suggestion. The scarred masonry symbolizes both the fragility and fortitude of democracy. This entrance to the Mother of Parliaments is appropriately known as the Churchill Arch.Churchill_Arch

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