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Winston Churchill's “Marrakech” up for Auction
Posted by TK on 12/24/2007 11:10:38 AM (ET)
Filed Under: General
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Sotheby’s has announced that a painting of Marrakech by Winston Churchill will be offered at auction. Painted circa 1948, Marrakech, is considered one of Churchill’s better works and has exemplary provenance - it was a gift from Churchill to the former US President, Harry S. Truman in 1951 and has remained with the Truman family ever since. Truman’s daughter, Margaret, has had it hanging in her New York apartment since her father’s death in 1972 and is now selling it. Margaret transported the work of art from Downing Street, London to the US when Churchill bestowed the gift upon the Truman family during a visit to London in 1951.

Marrakech is arousing both collector and academic interest. Churchill served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1940 and 1945 and is well known for his statesmanship - he was named by Time Magazine as one of the most important people of the 20th Century. Unbeknown to many, Churchill was a prolific and accomplished artist and pursued what he consistently called his ‘pastime’ for most of his life. He was quoted as saying, “if it weren’t for painting, I couldn’t live; I couldn’t bear the strain of things.”

He was humble about his skill as a painter and gave some of his most beloved pieces to family, friends and colleagues as gestures of friendship and respect (including Presidents Roosevelt and Eisenhower, Viscount Montgomery, Earl Lloyd-George and General George C. Marshall). He received prestigious recognition of Honorary Academician Extraordinary from London’s Royal Academy of Arts.

Frances Christie, specialist in the Sotheby’s 20th Century British Art department, comments: “The rise of Churchill through the art market over the past few years has been remarkable and we are thrilled to be bringing another of his most important and accomplished works to the saleroom at a time when interest in his amazing ‘pastime’ is stronger than ever. Not only does Marrakech have extraordinary provenance, it is also a superb example of Churchill at his very best and it shows a subject which was very dear to his heart.”

In July of 2007, Sotheby’s set a new auction record for his work when Chartwell Landscape with Sheep, a view of his home, sold for £1 million. The estimate for Marrakech is £300,000 – £500,000.

Marrakech by Winston Churchill
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