David Cannadine gave a brilliant lecture last night on Churchill’s commitment to his work as an artist and his use of painting as a way of alleviating the black dog of depression. But I realised afterwards that I am still unclear as to exactly how friendly he was with Alfred Munnings and how far he shared Munnings’s very conservative views of art. It was apparently Churchill who encouraged Munnings to revive the Royal Academy’s annual dinner in 1949. He was sitting next to Munnings when Munnings, as President, stood up to give his ill-fated and drunken speech in which he berated all aspects of contemporary French art, quoting a comment Churchill had made earlier in the evening as to what one might do if one met Picasso in the street – apparently, much to Churchill’s annoyance. What Cannadine made clear that Churchill’s involvement in art, and commitment to it, was longer, deeper and more complex than one might expect of a major international statesman.