#13 – Yousuf Karsh’s iconic portrait – Winston Churchill | 1941
“By the time I got back to my camera, he looked so belligerent, he could have devoured me. It was at that instant that I took the photograph.”
In the wake of the attack on pearl harbor, Churchill arrived in Ottawa, to thank the allies for their assistance.
Unaware that a photographer had been commissioned to take his portrait he refused to remove his cigar. Once the photographer was set up he walked towards Churchill, removed the cigar from his mouth and took his famous photograph with the scowl.
Of the incident, Churchill told Karsh “You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed.”
This image is one of the most widely reproduced political portraits. It gave photographers permission to take more honest, and even critical, portraits of political leaders.