British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, an amateur artist, gifted a landscape painting to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 that sold for a record price for his work at Christie's on Monday.
The Moroccan landscape Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque brought 8.3 million pounds, or about $11.5 million, with fees, far above the estimate of $2.1 million to $3.4 million. It was the star lot in Christie’s evening auction of Modern British Art in London and went to an undisclosed telephone buyer, reports The New York Times.
A more-recent gift from actor Brad Pitt to his now ex-wife Angelina Jolie, the painting is thought to be the only oil completed by Churchill during World War II. The work was consigned by the "Jolie Family Collection."
Pitt reportedly purchased the work for $2.95 million from New Orleans antiques dealer M.S. Rau, as shown on ARTFIXdaily in 2011. The gallery wrote that the work was done during a pivotal Allied conference in Casablanca and "depicts the famed Tower of Katoubia Mosque at sunset with the snowcapped Atlas Mountains in the distance. For Churchill, this was 'the most beautiful place in the world'."
The previous auction record for Churchill was for his "The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell" which brought $2.75 million in 2014.