Day 6 of Colourisation Project – May 13th
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
On this day 74 years ago, Winston Churchill delivered his first speech to Parliament, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, where he declared, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”
As he led his country into World War 2, Churchill who was widely regarded for his oratorial skills delivered two more famous speeches, known simply as the “We shall fight them on the beaches” speech and the “This was their finest hour” speech. All within the first few months of his tenure as PM.
The Bank of England recently announced that the new 5 pound note, to be issued in 2016. will carry the phrase “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” beneath a portrait of Churchill.
Today’s photo for colourisation was taken in 1941 by Yousuf Karsh, who is widely regarded as one of the best portrait photographers of all time. Karsh recounts the story of this celebrated photo in his book, Faces of Our Time;
“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.”
Churchill later said to him, “You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed.” Thus, Karsh titled the photograph, The Roaring Lion.
Karsh passed away in 2002 at the age of 93.