The “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” (1943) is the only painting created by Sir Winston Churchill during the Second World War. The artwork is famously tagged as the most important painting by Churchill. It features a mosque in Marrakech in broad daylight, with mountains in the background.
According to Nicholas Orchard, Modern British Art Specialist, the painting captures one of Churchill’s favourite views in Morocco.
However, Churchill gifted the work to former U.S President, Franklin D. Roosevelt at its completion, which was after the January 1943 Casablanca conference where Churchill and Roosevelt planned the defeat of Nazi Germany.
The painting would later be sold by Roosevelt’s son in the 1960s. It had been with several owners before being bought by Brad Pitt as a gift for Angelina Jolie in 2011.
The previous record price for a Churchill painting was US$2.7 million. However, the painting of the Moroccan landscape was sold in London at Christie’s for over US$11.5 million by the Jolie family.
The record breaking price tag is the highest paid for a work by the British leader.