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Plurality within limits

If we return to our initial comparison with Churchill, then certainly Lady Churchill believed that there were limits with regard to portraits of her husband, although the criteria seem subjective. Graham Sutherland’s tapestry of Christ can still be seen at Coventry, but his infamous portrait of Churchill she destroyed because she did not like it. On the other hand, plenty of caricatures and cartoons of Churchill survive at Chartwell. Some are recognizably part of the usual mix, while others stand outside that tradition, such as Nazi propaganda, which may still have the common identifying feature (such as the inevitable cigar) and yet depict an image which has no continuity with either historical evidence nor the development of the other pictures. Thus, we can use these two criteria – the historical evidence and the development of the tradition – in assessing the plurality of interpretations of Churchill…

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