Ben Enwonwu’s ‘Christine’ painting goes for N506M in London

Late Ben Enwonwu’s 1971 painting, ‘Christine’, has been sold for a whopping N506, 100, 000 ($1.4 million) in England.

According to a report by AFP, ‘Christine’ which was painted by the 20th century master of African modernism in 1971, had been in the sitter’s family home ever since it was painted in Lagos.

The painting, it was further, fetched over seven times the pre-auction estimate, finally going under the hammer for £1.1 million (1.3 million euros, $1.4 million) at Sotheby.

The family were unaware of the significance of the painting or the importance of the artist, until a chance “googling” of the signature led them to Sotheby’s free Online Estimate Platform,” the London auction house revealed.

The painting precedes the artist’s 1974 painting of Ife royal princess Adetutu “Tutu” Ademiluyi, which recently turned up in a London flat after not being seen in decades.

Enwonwu made three paintings of “Tutu”, the locations of all of which had been a mystery until the recent discovery.

The works became symbols of peace following the clash of ethnic groups in the Nigerian–Biafran conflict of the late 1960s.

In 1994, Enwonwu died in his Ikoyi home on February 5 at the age of 77.

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