A painting of Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains by Winston Churchill has sold at auction for much more than expected. (The Canadian Press)

Painting of B.C. lake by Winston Churchill sells for $87,000

Churchill had painted the work in 1929 during visit to an area near Field

A painting of Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains by Winston Churchill has sold at auction for much more than expected.

Churchill painted the work during a visit to the area near Field, B.C., in 1929 in the years before he became prime minister of the United Kingdom.

The heavily damaged piece was initially listed on the Sotheby’s of London auction site and was estimated to sell between $11,000 and $15,000. It sold for $87,257.

“My family and I are obviously delighted at the sale price,” owner Bill Murray wrote in an email to The Canadian Press from his home in Devon, England. “Even in its damaged state, it is a wonderful painting and the link with Sir Winston’s visit to your area in 1929, is just about unique.”

The painting was a gift from Churchill to Murray’s father, Sgt. Edmund Murray, who was his bodyguard from 1950 to 1965.

“Having read all the pre-sale reports in the Canadian media, I am not really surprised that this great painting attained such a high figure. Churchill paintings are much sought-after,” Murray said.

“Had it not been damaged, it would have fetched a much higher price and perhaps ended up in a private collection in Russia or China, never to be seen again.”

There’s no official word on who bought the painting or where it will ultimately end up, but Murray said he has his suspicions.

“I am pretty sure that it will go to Canada, although Sotheby’s are very discreet when it comes to letting out information about the buyer, even to the seller.”

The painting was originally mislabelled as Lake Louise, Alta., but Calgary historian David Finch saw a photo of it and let it be known it was Emerald Lake.

“To be clear, I’m the obnoxious Canadian who challenged the location of the painting, came to be involved but I am not an expert at painting or Churchill history – an innocent bystander.”

Finch said Churchill had been painting for years, a hobby he picked up to cope with depression. He said the trip to Canada and the U.S. gave him a chance to escape his troubles at home.

“He’d been run out of England with his tail between his legs. His government had fallen. He’d lost his own seat. He was desperate for an escape from all his trials and tribulations so he and his brother and his two sons came on a tour of North America,” said Finch.

Finch said he’s no art critic but Churchill painted a lot of paintings over the years and this likely isn’t his best work.

“I don’t think much of it but somebody obviously does to pay that kind of money for it.”

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Discontent City argues that it’s keeping occupants safe

Hearing continuing today, July 18, at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

NRE will sell its land, plans for a new depot there are ‘over’

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange board decides to sell Kenworth Road property

UPDATED: Cougar shot by police in Nanaimo

Shooting occurred in water at Nanaimo Yacht Club at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday

Nanaimo Airport set to welcome 8 charter planes for BC Summer Games

Hundreds of athletes and support officials from around the province will arrive… Continue reading

Open fires banned within Nanaimo city limits

City burning ban took effect yesterday, provincial campfire ban starts today

Nanaimo Concert Band to perform at Maffeo Sutton Park

Group will play marches, swing and show tunes at free evening concert

14-year-old pilot attempts to break Guinness World Record at B.C. airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab wants to become youngest pilot with fewest hours logged to fly solo

Price no guarantee for safety with horse riding helmets: new report

A Swedish insurance report reveals that many brands of equestrian helmets do not protect riders as well as they could.

One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Marrisa Shen was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 18, 2017

BC Games opening ceremonies promise to be magical

Features Shane Koyczan and his band, Asani, parade of athletes, and lots more

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

Most Read