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    Winston Churchill Painting Sells For Big Bucks

    Date: 24 Apr 2008 | | Views: 5695

    Source: The Australian (www.theaustralian.news.com.au)

    AN oil painting by Winston Churchill of a sunset over mountains in Morocco, a view he later took US President Franklin Roosevelt to see during World War II, was sold today for $US420,000 ($445,000) in New York.

    The late British wartime leader's Sunset over the Atlas Mountains was sold to an anonymous phone buyer after a short bidding battle, said Staci Smith, a spokeswoman for Bonhams New York, which auctioned the painting.

    Bonhams had estimated the painting would fetch at least $US400,000 ($423,950) to $US600,000 ($635,930).

    Churchill painted the work from his balcony in a Marrakech hotel while on vacation in 1935. He used bright-coloured paints, many straight from the tube, said Malcolm Walker, an expert at Bonhams.

    Later, Churchill took Roosevelt to Marrakech to view the mountains after the Casablanca Conference in 1943.

    "His returning to take Roosevelt to see the mountains obviously meant something to him," Mr Walker said.

    Churchill's daughter, Mary Soames, once said the moment was one of "tranquillity amid the tumult and stress of the war".

    Churchill began painting in 1915, finding relief from spells of depression.

    "Painting helped ease his busy mind," Mr Walker said, adding that the painting was Churchill's most colourful work.

    Late last year, another Churchill painting of Morocco sold for nearly $US1 million ($1.06 million). Also last year, a large painting of his home, Chartwell, sold for more than $US2 million ($2.12 million).

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