The only painting that Winston Churchill made during World War II will soon be auctioned in London. It is expected that the canvas, still in possession of actress Angelina Jolie, will win a record prize.
This is the painting The Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque, which the British war leader painted in Marrakesh in January 1943. Churchill was in Morocco for a summit with American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. At the Casablanca Conference it was decided that only the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy and Japan would end the war.
Churchill gave the painting to Roosevelt after the conference, whom he considered a good friend. After his death in 1945, the canvas came into the hands of Roosevelts son Elliot, who sold it to a collector in 1950. In 2011, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt bought the canvas from an antique dealer in New Orleans. The painting will be auctioned by Christies in London on 1 March and is expected to raise at least 2.5 million pounds.
Churchill was a frantic amateur painter. More than 500 paintings are known by his hand. During the war, however, he only made this painting, which, according to auctioneer Nick Orchard van Christies, makes the canvas a unique work. “The Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque is probably Winston Churchills best painting, also given the historical importance of the occasion and the friendship between the two leaders”.
The prices of works by Churchill have been on the rise in recent years. A painting of goldfish in the pond of his estate Chartwell earned 1.4 million pounds in 2014. Last year, an oil painting from a bottle of Churchills favorite whisky brand Johnny Walker yielded almost a million pounds.