The painting of the former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, representing the Koutoubia mosque in Marrakech, was sold for 7 million pounds sterling (8.1 million euros), during the auction organized in London by the house Christie’s sales
Offered at auction by American actress Angelina Jolie, the painting is Churchill’s only work of art during World War II. He painted it during his visit to Morocco in 1943 to take part in the historic Anfa conference.
It represents the minaret of the Koutoubia mosque, one of the symbols of Almohad architecture in the 12th century. In the background, the old ramparts of the ocher city lean against the Atlas Mountains.
Churchill offered this painting to former US President Franklin Roosevelt before one of the latter’s sons sold it in the 1950s. It was then resold several times before reaching the Hollywood star. .
According to British art historian Barry Phipps, quoted in the auction guide, it is “Churchill’s most important work, given its close connection to 20th century history.”
This painting was not the only work of Churchill in Morocco. He had also painted, during a previous visit to the Kingdom in 1935, “Scene in Marrakech” sold 1.55 million pounds.