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"Tower of Koutoubia Mosque" by Winston Churchill was sold by the Jolie Family Collection at a London art auction on Monday

By Gabrielle Chung
March 02, 2021 08:11 PM
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brad pitt and angelina jolie
Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt
| Credit: Getty(2)

Angelina Jolie has parted ways with a rare painting in her art collection.

"Tower of Koutoubia Mosque" by Winston Churchill was sold by the Jolie Family Collection at a London art auction on Monday for £8.3 million ($11.5 million U.S.) after fees, The Art Newspaper reported.

The oil painting — which features a sunset over Marrakech, Morrocco — was the only one created by the late British prime minister during World War II and had been given to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 as a birthday gift, according to a press release from Christie's, which handled the sale.

"Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque was created following the Casablanca Conference where it was agreed by the Allied forces that only complete surrender by the Axis powers would be acceptable," Nick Orchard, head of modern British art at Christie's in London, said in a statement. "It is the only work that Churchill painted during the war, perhaps encouraged by the recent progress made by the Allies in what he considered to be one of the most beautiful countries he had encountered."

Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque" by Sir Winston Churchill
"Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque" by Winston Churchill
| Credit: Getty Images

Orchard added that the artwork is "arguably the best painting by Winston Churchill due to the significance of the subject matter to him, and the fact that it highlights the importance of the friendship between the two leaders."

"The gifting of the work to Roosevelt underlines the fact that Churchill held the American President in such high regard and points to their joint efforts in guiding the Allied powers to the outcome of the Second World War," he said.

Initially estimated to sell between $2.09 million to $3.49 million, the art piece was acquired by an anonymous telephone buyer who also purchased two other Churchill paintings during Monday's sale, The New York Times reported.

The art piece was last sold for $2.95 million in 2011 by New Orleans antique dealer M.S. Rau, according to the New York Post.

The outlet reported that the buyer was Brad Pitt, who gifted the painting to then-partner Jolie.

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Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt

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Jolie and Pitt, 57, married in 2014 after first meeting on the 2005 set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. They split in 2016 and were legally declared single in 2019 as the finalization of their divorce continues.

The former couple have six children together: sons Maddox, 19, Pax, 17, and Knox, 12, and daughters Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 14, and Vivienne, 12.