A painting by Winston Churchill that is a piece of both political and Hollywood history is coming up for auction.
Christie’s auction house said Monday that the Moroccan landscape “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” — a gift from Churchill to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt — is being sold by Angelina Jolie next month with an estimated price of 1.5 million pounds to 2.5 million pounds ($2.1 million to $3.4 million).
The image of the 12th-century mosque in Marrakech at sunset, with the Atlas Mountains in the background, is the only painting that Britain’s World War II leader completed during the 1939-45 conflict.
He painted it after the January 1943 Casablanca Conference, where Churchill and Roosevelt planned the defeat of Nazi Germany. The two leaders visited Marrakech after the conference so that Churchill could show Roosevelt the city’s beauty.
“Roosevelt was blown away by it and thought it was incredible,” said Nick Orchard, head of Christie’s modern British art department. He said Churchill captured the view in the “wonderful, evocative painting” and gave it to Roosevelt as a memento of the trip.
Churchill was a keen amateur artist who completed some 500 paintings after taking up painting in his 40s. Orchard said that “the light in Morocco and over Marrakech was something that Churchill was passionate about” and painted again and again.