UNDER HIS MASTER'S EYE. - an original printed appearance of this cartoon featuring Winston S. Churchill from the 21 May 1913 edition of the magazine Punch, or The London Charivari
London: Punch, 1913. This original printed appearance of a Punch cartoon featuring Winston S. Churchill comes from the personal collection of Gary L. Stiles, author of Churchill in Punch (Unicorn Publishing Group, 2022). His book is the first ever effort to definitively catalog, describe, and contextualize all of the many Punch cartoons featuring Churchill.
This cartoon titled "UNDER HIS MASTER'S EYE." appeared thus on p.395 of the 21 May 1913 issue of Punch. The artist is Leonard Raven-Hill. The image is captioned "Scene - Mediterranean, on board the Admiralty yacht 'Enchantress.' Mr. Winston Churchill. 'Any Home News?' Mr. Asquith. 'How can there be with you here?'" First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill and Prime Minister Herbert Asquith were on board the Enchantress to tour naval facilities in the Mediterranean. Notice a copy of Churchill's book My African Journey (published in 1908, here mistitled as "My Journey in Africa") on the Union Jack pillow beside him. Also of note, "This appears to be one of the earliest images depicting Churchill savoring one of his large Cuban cigars, soon to become his trademark." (Black, Jonathan, Winston Churchill in British Art, 1900 to the Present Day, London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2017, p.22)
Punch or The London Charivari began featuring Churchill cartoons in 1900, when his political career was just beginning. That political career would last two thirds of a century, see him occupy Cabinet office during each of the first six decades of the twentieth century, carry him twice to the premiership and, further still, into the annals of history as a preeminent statesman. And throughout that time, Punch satirized Churchill in cartoons – more than 600 of them, the work of more than 50 different artists.
It was a near-perfect relationship between satirists and subject. That Churchill was distinctive in both persona and physical appearance helped make him easy to caricature. To his persona and appearance he added myriad additional satirical temptations, not just props, like his cigars, siren suits, V-sign, and hats, but also a variety of ancillary avocations and vocations, like polo, painting, brick-laying, and writing. All these were skewered as well.
Some Punch cartoons were laudatory, some critical, and many humorous, like the man himself. Nearly always, Churchill was distinctly recognizable, a larger-than-life character whose presence caricature served only to magnify. Item #007120