Angelina Jolie Sells Churchill’s Morocco Painting
Winston Churchill’s most famous painting was sold for € 8.1 million in London at an auction organized by Christie’s house.
The price achieved by the painting, which depicts the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, has exceeded the pre-sale expectations of 1.7 to 2.8 million euros. The former British Prime Minister (1874-1965) painted the oil plant in 1943 during a visit to Morocco where he attended the Allied Anfa Conference in Casablanca.
The painting, sold by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, “is widely regarded as the most important painting by Sir Winston Churchill, whose story is tied into 20th century history,” said art historian Barry Phipps in the Christies catalog.
Churchill gifted his masterpiece to President Franklin Roosevelt, but one of his sons sold it in the 1950s. The painting sold many times until it moved to the home of Angelina Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt in 2011, prior to their divorce.
The conservative British leader started painting in his forties, but his predilection for the Red City and its lights dates back to the 1930s when Morocco was under French and Spanish protection. He visited six times in 23 years to escape London and its political storms.
A photo taken at the time by a journalist showed Churchill and Roosevelt watching the sunset that inspired the British Prime Minister in his painting.
Two other Churchill paintings were sold during the same auction. One shows a scene from Marrakech that sold for £ 1.55 million (expected advance booking price was between £ 300,000 and £ 500,000) and the other shows St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, which sold for £ 880,000 (expected advance booking price was £ 200,000 to £ 300,000).