Unveiling the Statue of 

Sir Winston Churchill

St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

Winston Churchill: Painting on the Riveria

By artist Paul Rafferty

St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, by Winston Churchill, 1930s. © Churchill Heritage Ltd

Winston churchill

statesman and artist

'Painting is a companion with whom one may hope to walk a great part of life’s journey.'

About the Statue by

Paul Rafferty

After discovering so many unknown painting locations of Sir Winston Churchill’s paintings, I released a book centred around his work on the French Riviera. To celebrate this milestone and mark where he painted, I was inspired to make a life-size statue, my first as it happens. I chose to depict him standing at his large easel, though in later years, he often sat down to paint. I hoped to capture the concentration and escapism he felt whilst indulging in his favourite pastime of painting, a purist that held his focus until the end or nearly the end of his life.

Churchill is not only honoured with over a thousand biographies, he is also immortalised in a great many statues. Surprisingly there is only one other statue of him painting which resides in Madeira. My challenge was to capture him in an informal pose to make him recognisable in doing a task that is less associated with him. I was, however, relying on his idiosyncratic cigar, his distinctive pose and hopefully a likeness in his face, known worldwide. St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat was a favourite of the Churchill’s, Winston first painted there in 1921.

Visit Paul Rafferty's website for more. 

Discover Key Facts about the Statue

  • STATUE DIMENSIONS: 7’ to 8’ tall with a base of 3’ by 6’.
  • LOCATION: Port of Cap-Ferrat, next to the Voile d’Or (This location is exactly where Sir Winston painted, producing at least six or seven views of the port).
  • Small versions of the statue will be available to purchase in Summer 2023. Visit paulrafferty.art for more information. 

Interview with the Artist

What inspired you to make this statue?

After completing my book Winston Churchill, Painting on the French RivieraI wanted to physically mark his painting locations. A standard plaque felt insufficient, and I desired to go further by creating this sculpture. I greatly admire the statues of Churchill by Oscar Nemon and Ivor-Jones; I hope I have done Churchill justice as they did.

How do you hope the public will engage with this statue?

I hope the public enjoys what I’ve created and learns something new about this great man and his passions. He was a multidimensional character that is too often overly simplified. The individuality of the man is certainly borne out in this sculpture with his powerful presence at the easel, ten-gallon Stetson hat, the largest plain air easel I have seen, and a Cuban cigar wedged in a determined mouth!

What does the French Riviera mean to you and what did it mean for Churchill?

St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a magical peninsula, its 120-year history peppered with Royals, international gentry, and celebrities. For Clementine and Winston, it was a spectacular retreat where they enjoyed friends, tennis, and painting. Many of Sir Winston’s paintings featured in Painting as a Pastime were painted in Cap-Ferrat; he deeply admired the work he produced there.

How has it been working with the Churchill family and the International Churchill Society (ICS)?

Ever since my first introduction to the Churchill family and ICS, I have received nothing but generous support, encouragement, and help. This has been an exciting and collaborative affair, for all involved, celebrating such a joyous part of his life, painting. I have certainly enjoyed my association with the Churchill family and ICS, it has most certainly been a ‘joy-ride in Churchill’s paint box’.

Winston Churchill painting on the French Riveria

St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat by Winston Churchill, 1930s. © Churchill Heritage Ltd

Churchill Society


Will you help us reach an even wider global audience?

Sponsorships for the International Churchill Society range from $2,500 to $100,000 and include many benefits based on level.  

Would you like to discuss sponsorship?
Please get in touch with one of the International Churchill Society Executive Directors.
 Justin Reash (Washington) tel: +1-202-929-0309 or email
Andy Smith (London) tel: +44 20 7173 5123 or email

On the Riviera, St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat by Winston Churchill. In the distance, Cap-d’Ail and Monaco. Churchill saw Villa Rosemary (centre) in January 1922 from the opposite villa, Villa Lou Mas. © Churchill Heritage Ltd

Churchill Society partners

Sailing boat in Antibes Harbour by Winston Churchill, given to Mr Antonio Giraudier, 'a rich Cuban who kept him (Churchill) supplied with cigars and brandy.' © Churchill Heritage Ltd

'I cannot pretend to feel impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns. When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject. But then I shall require a still gayer palette than I get here below. I expect orange and vermilion will be the darkest, dullest colours upon it, and beyond them there will be a whole range of wonderful new colours which will delight the celestial eye.'

Winston Churchill, Cannes 1937

Winston Churchill, Cannes 1937

Winston S Churchill

January 1922, 'Painting as a Pastime,' Strand Magazine

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