Angelina Jolie sells an extraordinary item shared by ex-husband Brad Pitt at auction for $8.2m

The former Tomb Raider star is having a clear-out of her collections to auction off a key item for a record-breaking price

Angelina Jolie sells item, Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt arrives at the AFI FEST 2015 Presented By Audi Opening Night Gala Premiere Of Universal Pictures' "By The Sea" at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on November 5, 2015 in Hollywood
(Image credit: Steve Granitz / Contributor Getty)

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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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."

Brad Pitt and US actress and UN special envoy Angelina Jolie look at some of the art work on show at the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict at ExCel on June 12, 2014 in London, England.

(Image credit: Danny Martindale / Contributor Getty)

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."

Photograph of Winston Churchill painting in Marrakesh. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874-1965) a British politician, army officer, writer, painter and former Prime Minister of Great Britain.

(Image credit: Universal History Archive / Contributor Getty)

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."

Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.