Churchill painting sold by Angelina Jolie for record £8.25m at auction

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Mason Boycott-Owen
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Oil on canvas painting by Sir Winston Churchill painted in Jan. 1943 called 'Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque' - Frank Augstein /AP 
Oil on canvas painting by Sir Winston Churchill painted in Jan. 1943 called 'Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque' - Frank Augstein /AP

A Churchill painting has been sold by Angelina Jolie for over £8 million at auction.

The landscape by the wartime Prime Minister is thought to be the only painting that he did as he led the country though the Second World War.

The painting was expected to sell for £2.5 million, a record for one of Churchill's works, but was sold today for £8,285,000 at Christie’s auction house.

The 1943 oil on canvas work, titled Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque, depicts the sunset over Marrakesh.

Though he created more than 500 works during his lifetime, this painting was composed for his friend and ally President Franklin D Roosevelt after the 1943 Casablanca Conference.

It was subsequently sold by Roosevelt’s son in 1950 and over 60 years later it was bought by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt from a New Orleans antique dealer.

The sale of the painting comes five years after their divorce in 2016 where they split the art collection they shared.

Churchill was a keen painter after picking it up later in life at the age of 40 and even took his easel and brushes to the trenches to paint behind the lines of the Great War.

His style and subjects varied from oil canvases, like his depiction of Marrakesh, to “bottle-scapes” - a landscape that he made of alcohol bottles.

The work sold at Christie’s has been called his “best painting” showing the closeness between the two leaders by capturing the Morrocan sunset which he and Roosevelt witnessed after agreeing to push for the Axis forces’ unconditional surrender.