Churchill painted “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” in Marrakech, Morocco, after attending the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, during which he and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt formulated the next step in their strategy for defeat Nazi Germany.
Churchill gave the painting to Roosevelt, and it eventually found a place in Jolie’s own art collection. The actress is putting the piece on sale, with an estimate of its price ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 million pounds (2 to 3.4 million dollars).
“It is the only work Churchill painted during the war, perhaps encouraged by recent progress made by the Allies in what he considered to be one of the most beautiful countries he had met”, Nick Orchard , head of modern British art auction house Christie’s, said in a statement.
The painting was made after the two leaders agreed to accept only an “unconditional surrender” of the Axis powers, a strategically significant statement of intent from the two war figures.
Churchill created the painting after attending the Casablanca conference in 1943. Credit: Christie’s Images Ltd
It is donated by the Jolie Family Collection, having been acquired by the actress in 2011, Christie’s said. The auction house did not provide further details on how Jolie became the owner of the painting.
Although Churchill painted several scenes in Morocco before the start of the war, it is the only known work he did between 1939 and 1945.
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“The tower of the Koutoubia mosque” is therefore without doubt the best painting by Winston Churchill because of the importance of the subject for him and the fact that it underlines the importance of the friendship between the two leaders “, Orchard said.
“The gift of work to Roosevelt underscores the fact that Churchill held the US President in such high regard and underlines their joint efforts to guide the Allied Powers towards an end to World War II.”
The work should go on sale on March 1.