Enwonwu’s art work sells for $1.4m after owners googled signature


Painting by Ben Enwowu who is considered to be the father of Nigerian modernism in arts and painting has been sold for a staggering $1.4m (£1.1m) at an auction in London, the United Kingdom after its owners googled Enwonwu’s signature.

The painting “Christine”, which painted in Lagos in 1971 had been in the home of the family since then.

“Were unaware of the significance of the painting or the importance of the artist, until a chance ‘googling’ of the signature,” it added.

Enwonwu died in 1994. Among his works include “Tutu”, which had been described by Nigerian novelist Ben Okri, as the “African Mona Lisa”, BBC reports.Tutu was sold last year for $1.5m after it was discovered in a London flat.

Christine, the subject of the painting that has just been sold, was born in New York but moved to Ghana in her late 20s to live with her step-father, Sotheby’s says.

She then moved to Lagos in 1969 where she struck up a friendship with the artist.

Enwonwu was a student at Goldsmiths, Ruskin College, and the Slade art school in the UK in the 1940s.

He became more widely known when he was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture of Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Nigeria in 1956.