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Life-size Churchill sculpture takes centre stage at Blenheim Palace

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Sue Day hand paints every tiny detail on Winston Churchill's face
Sue Day hand paints every tiny detail on Winston Churchill's face   -   Copyright  Blenheim Palace

Dressed in clothing made to measure by Winston Churchill’s original tailors, this is the closest you’ll ever get to meeting Winston Churchill.

A brand new, life-size sculpture of Winston Churchill has been unveiled as part of a new exhibition at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire dedicated to Churchill's lifelong association with his birthplace and ancestral home.

How was the sculpture made?

Created by internationally-renowned sculptor Jethro Crabb, the bust was initially carved out of clay. The carving was then covered in silicone to make a mould and filled with a special formula of wax.

The final stage involved artist Sue Day painstakingly inserting individual hair follicles into the scalp and carefully colour matching the face, before the life-size figure was assembled and clothed.

In order to make the completed figure as realistic as possible, designers contacted Churchill's original tailor, hat, glasses and shoemakers to provide bespoke authentic clothing and accessories, made to his own measurements.

The history of Blenheim Palace

The birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site in Oxfordshire, UK. It has been home to the Dukes of Marlborough since 1705. During Churchill’s life, he spent much time at Blenheim Palace as it was the home of his cousin and close friend, the 9th Duke of Marlborough.

Blenheim was one of Churchill’s favourite places to relax. It’s also where he proposed to his beloved wife, and its rich military history provided huge inspiration for Churchill's own political career.

Blenheim Palace is set in over 2,000 acres of 'Capability' Brown landscaped parkland and was designed by Vanbrugh in the Baroque style. It was financed by Queen Anne, on behalf of a grateful nation, following the first Duke of Marlborough's triumph over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession.

More about the Churchill Exhibition

The life-size figure will take pride of place in the new Churchill exhibition. The exhibition will feature a mix of historic, never-before-seen artefacts and new technology, documenting key aspects of the life of Sir Winston Churchill. With photographs, letters, artefacts and excerpts from his most famous speeches, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in all aspects of Churchill’s life and work.

Watch the video above to see the artists create this incredible sculpture.

Video editor • Hannah Brown