Churchill entered Westminster Hall at noon, to the sound of drums beating out a victory roll – his signature gesture. At 80, he was still prime minister, and angered by discussion of retirement. But that irritation would pale in comparison to the anger he was about to feel on this day, 10 November 1954, when his birthday portrait was unveiled.
Portraits have power. For centuries the tool of queens, emperors, statesmen and dictators, they offer the ultimate in image control. And, identified as portraits are with their subjects, their destruction remains a shocking act – whether committed for reasons of vanity, legacy, ethics, race, or even as part of the creative process. Join respected art historian Dr Julie Cotter as she journeys through eras, continents and regimes to examine the extraordinary stories of Portraits Destroyed.