Yousuf Karsh Winston Churchill

Price $25,000

Ref.# 15590

Medium Silver print

Mount unmounted

Photo Date 1941  Print Date 1941c

Dimensions 19-1/4 x 15-1/4 in. (489 x 387 mm)

Photo Country Canada

Photographer Country Canada

Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith


Phone +1-215-822-5662

Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.

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About This Image

Very rare and large vintage print of this iconic portrait of Churchill. Signed and "Ottowa" in white ink on recto of the print.

To get the look on Churchill's face, here's how Karsh described what happened: "Churchill’s cigar was ever present. I held out an ashtray, but he would not dispose of it. I went back to my camera and made sure that everything was all right technically. I waited; he continued to chomp vigorously at his cigar. I waited. Then I stepped toward him and, without premeditation, but ever so respectfully, I said, “Forgive me, sir,” and plucked the cigar out of his mouth. By the time I got back to my camera, he looked so belligerent he could have devoured me. It was at that instant that I took the photograph."

The photo, according to The Economist, is the "most reproduced portrait in the history of photography", yet vintage prints, like this one, are rare.

Yousuf Karsh, (Armenian name: Hovsep Karsh; December 23, 1908–July 13, 2002) was an Armenian-Canadian photographer best known for his portraits of notable individuals. He has been described as one of the greatest portrait photographers of the 20th century.

An Armenian Genocide survivor, Karsh migrated to Canada as a refugee. By the 1930s he established himself as a significant photographer in Ottawa, where he lived most part of his adult life, though he traveled extensively for work. His iconic 1941 photograph of Winston Churchill was a breakthrough point in his 60-year career, throughout which he took numerous photos of known political leaders, men and women of arts and sciences. Over 20 photos by Karsh appeared on the cover of Life magazine, until he retired in 1992.

See: 20th Century Photography Museum Ludwig Cologne, (Taschen, 1996, Germany), p.311.

Shipping and insurance costs will be added to the price and must be paid for by the buyer. Pennsylvania buyers must pay appropriate local sales tax. International clients are responsible for their VAT and other custom's oriented charges.

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