London: Punch, 1925. 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 "THE WINSTON TOUCH." appeared thus on p.407 of the 15 April 1925 issue of Punch. The artist is Bernard Partridge. The image is captioned "Chancellor of the Exchequer. 'MY POOR BEAST. I'M AFRAID YOU HAVE A VERY GRIEVOUS BURDEN TO BEAR.' British Ass. 'YES; CAN'T YOU DO SOMETHING SPECTACULAR ABOUT IT?'" The ass in the image is conspicuously overloaded with packages and crates labeled "TAXES" and looks imploringly at Churchill, who regards the ass with hands on hips. Then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill is aware that the British taxpayer feels heavily burdened and the caricatured taxpayer wants one of Winston's grand plans to alleviate the burden.
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 #007138