Famous Hollywood star, Angelina Jolie auctioned a rare Winston Churchill painting 'Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque' which sets a new auction record done by a British auction house, Christie's. A rare Winston Churchill painting given to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II and later bought by actor Angelina Jolie has been the most costly painting by the former British prime minister to sell at auction, fetching nearly £8.3 million ($11.5 million) including hammer fees. The Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque sold for much more than the auction house's estimated high-end price tag of $3.4 million at a Christie's London auction.
#AuctionUpdate A new #WorldAuctionRecord for Sir Winston Churchill with 'Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque' (1943) selling for £8,285,000. This is the only painting created by Churchill during the Second World War: https://t.co/JCBvGaFShW pic.twitter.com/iZMumvmwp2— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) March 1, 2021
The painting depicts a sunset over Marrakech's largest mosque, which Churchill showed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt the day after the 1943 Casablanca Conference, at which the allies agreed to seek Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender. After attending the Casablanca Conference in Morocco to strategize against Nazi Germany in January 1943, Churchill convinced Roosevelt to accompany him to Marrakech to watch the sunset behind the Atlas Mountains. Winston Churchill began painting when he was about 40 years old, after a failed naval attack during World War I cost him his title of First Lord of the Admiralty. Despite this, he was a prolific artist who produced over 500 works throughout his lifetime.
According to Christie's, Roosevelt was so taken with the sunset that Churchill painted it as a present for him, making it the only piece of art he completed during WWII. Christie's head of modern British art Nick Orchard said in a statement that the painting is "arguably the best painting by Winston Churchill" because of the subject's personal significance to Churchill and how it symbolizes his relationship with Roosevelt. Jolie and her ex-husband Brad Pitt bought the painting in 2011, and it was part of their vast art collection, which was reported to be worth about $25 million. the painting was from antique supplier Bill Rau by Brad Pitt.
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