Churchill's painting of roses which cheered up Vivien Leigh is up for auction

Churchill's painting of roses will be auctioned in September Credit: PA

A Sir Winston Churchill painting of roses which cheered up Vivien Leigh is going on sale in an auction of the screen star's belongings.

The Gone With The Wind actress placed Roses In A Glass Vase on the wall opposite her bed, after the wartime prime minister gave it to her as a present, and told how it gave her "the determination to go on".

The painting is going on display for the first time, at Sotheby's in London, before it could fetch £100,000 at auction.

It was painted from flowers Sir Winston picked from his garden at his country home, Chartwell, Kent.

Churchill painted the still life at his country home, Chartwell Credit: PA

The oil painting has been with the actress and then her family ever since Sir Winston gave it to her, during a midnight supper he hosted at his home in 1951.

The dinner was held to mark the birthday of actor Sir Laurence Olivier, Leigh's husband.

It is expected to be one of the star lots of Sotheby's sale of Leigh's personal collection on September 26.

Frances Christie, head of Sotheby's modern and post-war British art department, said that Sir Winston's oil painting revealed the deep and long-lasting friendship between the unlikely pair.

Credit: PA

Sir Winston and Leigh first met in 1936, on the set of Fire Over England, when she was a little-known actress and he an established Parliamentarian more than twice her age.

Their friendship would last for 30 years, until Sir Winston's death in 1965.