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Angelina Jolie sells Winston Churchill painting for a record £7m

Angelina Jolie sells Winston Churchill painting for a record £7m

March 2, 2021: A painting by former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, which Angelina Jolie owned, has sold for £7m at auction in London.

The sale price was four times the top pre-sale estimates and beat the previous record for a Churchill painting below £1.8m.

A Christie’s spokesperson called it “Churchill’s most important work.”

“Aside from its distinguished provenance, it is the only landscape he made during the war,” the spokesperson said.

Churchill took inspiration from the Moroccan city and painted The Tower of The Koutoubia Mosque oil work following the Casablanca Conference in 1943, sold to an anonymous buyer.

The work eventually found its way into actress Angelina Jolie’s hands when it went on sale in New Orleans in 2011.

Frenzied bidding at Monday’s sale, much of it over the phone, led to the auction gavel coming came down at the record £7m sale price, smashing the pre-sale expectations of £1.5 to £2.5m.

Before entering politics, Churchill was a career army officer and started to paint relatively late at 40.

He found a passion for Marrakesh’s translucent light in the 1930s when most of Morocco was a French protectorate.

Churchill painted from the balcony of the city’s Villa Taylor, beloved by the European jet set of the 1970s, post the historic conference in Casablanca when the allies declared they would accept Germany’s “unconditional surrender” in the war.

The painting depicts the mosque’s minaret behind the old city’s ramparts, with mountains behind and tiny colorful figures in front.

In Marrakesh, a second Churchill landscape, painted on his first visit to Morocco in 1935, had sold for £1.5m.

 Brad Pitt, Jolie’s ex-husband, is known to be an avid art collector and, during their marriage, the couple bought some notable works that included arts by Banksy and Neo Rauch.

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