Angelina Jolie is set to sell a historic Winston Churchill painting gifted to her by former husband Brad Pitt during their marriage.
Following their separation in 2016, Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie, 45, and Brad Pitt, 57, split the Jolie Family Collection — their stash of artwork that included the 18-by-24-inch Churchill masterpiece.
After being passed between several owners down the decades, it landed in the hands of Brad Pitt in 2011 when an unnamed buyer purchased it for $2.95 million.
It was bought from M. S. Rau, an antique dealer in New Orleans, and a source later revealed that the buyer was indeed Brad Pitt.
The painting — “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” — is the only piece of art that was created by Winston Churchill during wartime and shows the sun setting over the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
The iconic UK Prime Minister painted the piece while he was visiting Morocco during the Second World War. It was presented to US President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a gift, whose son, Elliott Roosevelt, later inherited it.
Other owners of the painting have included Norman Hickman, a movie producer who worked on the 1964 film The Finest Hours.
Valuers have estimated that the piece will fetch up to $3.4 million when it goes to auction. Brad Pitt’s interest in Winston Churchill was sparked in 2009 when he starred in Inglorious Basterds, a drama based on the events of the Second World War.
He and Jolie later visited England for a private tour of the Churchill War Rooms. Winston Churchill created around 500 paintings during his lifetime, but this piece is the only one he painted in wartime, making it particularly iconic.
The reason behind Angelina Jolie’s decision to sell the painting is not known, but many believe that she is moving towards financial freedom.
Court documents from her high-profile divorce from Brad Pitt revealed that the famous exes have been butting heads over their multi-million dollar assets.
Pitt has also confirmed via his attorneys that he had made a loan to Jolie for $8 million to buy a home.
Despite ending her romance with Pitt several years ago, Jolie has yet to find the happiness she seeks in life, but she is grateful.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, she was asked, “Do you feel as if you’re at a happy stage in your life?” and she responded by: “I don’t know. The past few years have been pretty hard. I’ve been focusing on healing our family. It’s slowly coming back, like the ice melting and the blood returning to my body.”
The two movie icons still have a lot of issues to sort through.