In May 1915, after the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, Churchill was forced to resign his office of First Lord of the Admiralty. This was a devastating blow to him both personally and politically. During this period Churchill found himself in a great depression, which he referred to as his ‘black dog’. As he was waiting to be shipped off to France to fight on the front, he decided to take up painting as a hobby to help with his depression. Today, this is what’s known as ‘art therapy’. He was forty years old when he began; painting became a passion, giving him immense pleasure for the remainder of his life. It was even acknowledged by professionals that he became quite a good amateur painter and could have been quite successful as a professional artist with further study. In 1948 he was appointed Honorary Academician Extraordinary by the Royal Academy for ‘achievements in the art of painting’.
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