The paintings and wit of Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill and English playwright Noel Coward is the subject of The Art Society Isle of Man’s January lecture.

It will be presented by art historian and archaeologist Nicholas Reed at the Manx Museum lecture theatre on Tuesday (January 17).

Churchill discussed painting with Coward and were both keen amateur painters of landscapes and other subjects in Britain and abroad.

Both were also legendary wits and Nicholas will talk about their paintings and also provide examples of their wit and humour.

Churchill created more than 550 paintings, crediting the practice with helping him to hone his visual acuity, powers of observation, and memory.

‘Painting came to my rescue in a most trying time,”Churchill would later write in the 1920s, in essays that would become a small book, Painting as a Pastime.

For over 40 years, Churchill was a keen amateur artist. He painted from 1915, right down to his retirement in the 1950s.

His landscapes record almost every country which he visited as a distinguished statesman. In Britain he painted at Blenheim, where he was born, at Port Lympne, where he stayed, on the Thames, and at Chartwell, his final home.

Abroad, he painted in France and Belgium, from the trenches of the First World War, and after that, on the French Riviera.

He also painted at locations like Morocco and Egypt, and in Canada and the United States.

Churchill discussed painting with Coward, who was another keen amateur artist for over 40 years. In Britain, Coward painted in or near his two Kentish homes: Goldenhurst, near Aldington, and his magnificent house overlooking the sea at St Margaret’s Bay.

He painted in Italy, at Venice and Portofino, but also three other Mediterranean locations. The majority of his paintings are of Jamaica, where he retired.

Nicholas has been a lecturer for the Arts Society since 1992. He first read classics at Oxford, and has further degrees in ancient history and archaeology. As an art historian Nicholas has written six books about the French Impressionists in England, and one on Frost Fairs on the Frozen Thames.

His most recent book, Spy Runner, is about his father, Ronnie Reed. This tells how Ronnie ran spies as ‘double-agents’ during the Second World War, and then hunted down the notorious spies in MI5 who were working for Russia.

Tuesday’s lecture starts at 11.30am and audience members are asked to check in and take their seats by 11.15am. Non-members will be asked to pay an entry fee of £10 at the door. The lecture will also be broadcast live on Zoom.

The Arts Society Isle of Man holds monthly lectures. View the programme at