Angelina Jolie has auctioned off a painting by Sir Winston Churchill which she owned with ex-husband Brad Pitt and it's sold for a record-breaking amount.
The actress, who split from Brad in 2016 before getting divorced three years later, has sold an image of the Tower Of The Koutoubia Mosque with the mountains in the background.
The painting has fetched a staggering $8.285million at the auction, held at Christie's in London to an unidentified buyer, as it was the only painting completed by the prime minister during the war.
The item sold for almost four times the upper pre-sale estimate and beat the record £1.8m price for a Churchill painting - making it the most expensive ever sold.
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#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/iZMumvmwp2March 1, 2021
Several owners have had the painting since it was first sold after the US president died in 1945 - with Angelina and Brad coming to purchase it in 2011. Now the artwork has been sold by the Jolie Family Collection.
Angelina and Brad shared a collection of artwork - it was previously reported that they had amassed a "sort-of private gallery" at their Château Miraval in the South of France. Though the couple has kept their collecting habits private, research firm Wealth-X estimated Pitt’s art collection to be worth $25 million.
During their partnership, the pair came to own a variety of works - from pieces by street artists like Banksy and Dom Pattinson, to traditional sensations like Ed Ruscha and Richard Serra.
Brad revealed in 2017 that he had taken up fine art himself. He said, “I’m anxious to get to the studio. I think it was Picasso who talked about the moment of looking at the subject, and paint hitting canvas, and that is where art happens."
The image of the 12th-century mosque in Marrakech at sunset with the Atlas mountains in the background is thought to have fetched so much because it was the only painting completed by the wartime prime minister during the 1939-45 conflict.
The painting was finished after the Casablanca Conference of January 1943, where Churchill and US President Franklin Roosevelt planned the defeat of Nazi Germany. The painting has historical significance too as Churchill persuaded Roosevelt to drive 150-miles to Marrakech to see the sunset on the Atlas Mountains.
Nick Orchard, Christie's head of modern British and Irish art, said Roosevelt was mesmerized by the scene. "It is an incredibly poignant moment," he told the auctioneer's in-house publication. "Here are two great leaders sharing the briefest respite from the traumas of war."
Churchill is said to have stayed an extra day after the US delegation departed to paint the view and he sent it to Roosevelt as a birthday gift and memento of the trip.
Mr Orchard added, "This is Churchill's diplomacy at its most personal and intense. It is not an ordinary gift between leaders - this is soft power and it is what the special relationship is all about."
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