Winston Churchill: prime minister, painter and art promoter

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Churchill painting in Marrakech

Winston Churchill’s love for Marrakech is well known. Calling it “the most beautiful place in the world at sunset”, the British prime minister even put his war duties on hold to escape to the city with Theodore Roosevelt in 1943. He also played a role in fostering one of Morocco’s greatest artistic talents. That same year, the Pacha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui, told Churchill he was worried that his son wanted to become a painter. The Pacha had a political career in mind for his son, but Churchill, having seen the young boy’s talents (and having a soft spot as a painter himself), managed to convince the father to let his son study art. Hassan El Glaoui left for Paris in 1950 and went on to become one of Morocco’s pre-eminent artists. Paintings of Marrakech by El Glaoui and Churchill were shown side-by-side during the opening of the Marrakech Biennale in “Meetings in Marrakech-Paintings by Sir Winston Churchill and Monsieur Hassan El Glaoui” at the city’s La Mamounia Hotel where Churchill often stayed.

From In The Frame

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