Did you know Angelina Jolie owns one of Winston Churchill’s paintings? One he gifted to Franklin D. Roosevelt? Well, now she’s decided to sell it at auction…
Lovely Morocco Sunsets
Christie’s Auctions & Private Sales, the auction house handling the process for Angelina Jolie, informed interested bidders that the painting has immense significant value. In fact, Churchill initially gave his painting, “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque,” to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Even more incredible, while Churchill made over 500 paintings in his lifetime, it’s the only painting the leader of Britain completed during World War II. Now, the actress will likely sell it for somewhere between $2.1 million to $3.4 million.
The painting features a sunset behind a mosque in Marrakech, Morocco, with the beautiful Atlas Mountains framing everything. According to the auction house, Churchill loved and felt inspired by the sunsets of Morocco, saying they were the most beautiful in the world. “He loved the dry air, the light, the sun and the way it played on the landscapes,” said Nick Orchard, head of Christie’s modern British art department. “And that’s absolutely visible here in this painting. You can see the long shadows and the turning purple of the mountains and the deepening of the sky — classic sunset time.”
Of course, that’s just the beginning of this painting’s incredible history!
So how does Franklin D. Roosevelt fit into all this? Well, in 1943, when Churchill and Roosevelt planned to defeat Nazi Germany, the British Prime Minister took the President to Marrakech to show him the sunsets. “Roosevelt was blown away by it and thought it was incredible,” said Orchard. So, Churchill captured the view and gave the painting to Roosevelt as a reminder of the trip. From there, FDR gave it to his son, who then, many years later, sold it to Bill Rau, an antique dealer. Rau proudly displayed the painting in his world-class art gallery in New Orleans. There, Brad Pitt bought it for Jolie in 2011.
Sadly, as any Pitt or Jolie fan can tell you, the couple separated in 2016. During the process, they split their massive art collection, with the actress taking the Churchill piece. After all this time, however, it seems that Jolie finally feels ready for someone else to own the work. So, it will go to auction on March 1, as apart of Christie’s Auctions & Private Sales’ Modern British Art Auction in London. As stated, experts predict the final bid will land somewhere between $2.1 million to $3.4 million, or 1.5 and 2.4 million British pounds. However, Orchard thinks it could fetch even more.
“The record price at auction for Churchill is about 1.8 million (pounds) for a painting that, in my view, is not as important as this,” Orchard said. “And I think this is probably his most important work.”