A painting with a complicated history, Louisiana ties, and a fascinating past is now one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at auction. Oh, and did we mention that it was painted by former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, and sold yesterday by actress Angelina Joile?

The auction was held at Christie's in London, and the painting, called "Tower of Koutoubia Mosque," was one of the few painted by Churchill during the years 1939-1945. According to CNN, via WBRZ in Baton Rouge, the painting sold yesterday for a record-breaking $11.5 million after fees.

The history of the painting is captivating. It was originally given by Churchill to President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II, after they visited Marrakech in January of 1943. According to WBRZ, actor Brad Pitt Pitt acquired the painting from antiques dealer Bill Rau, who said the painting "eventually ended up in New Orleans, where it was kept in a local family's closet for more than fifty years before a family member contacted his gallery, M.S. Rau." Pitt gifted the painting to his then-wife, actress Angelina Jolie in 2011, when the couple was still married. They also owned a home in New Orleans for many years.

The painting was sold yesterday by the Jolie Family Collection for the record-breaking amount. Churchill didn't take up painting as a hobby until he was in his 40's, and after his disastrous naval attack during World War I that cost him his coveted title of First Lord of the Admiralty. He eventually painted over 500 works of art.

 

 

Fun Facts About Louisiana That May Surprise You