– A painting named Christine by Ben Enwonwu has sold for N500 million in London
– Christine which was painted in 1971 has been with a particular family for many decades
– A recent google search by the family revealed the real worth of the painting as they were unaware of the significance of the art
A painting named Christine by Nigerian artist, Ben Enwonwu, has fetched N500 million in London. It was gathered that the painting by 20th century master of African modernism, Enwonwu, was painted in 1971 and has been with a particular family since it was painted in Lagos.
The artwork which was displayed at a London auction house had been valued at N68 million until the family who owned it did a Google search of the signature of the painting. It was then known that the work, Christine, was worth over a million dollars, the equivalent of N500 million.
The work 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.
Channels, African Lives, and other News agencies report that the London auction house said that “the family was 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 artist, Enwonwu, who is considered the father of African modernism, passed in 1994. Booker Prize-winning novelist Ben Okri, while speaking to AFP, stated that the work is a national icon in Nigeria and is thought of as ‘the African Monalisa’.
He 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.