The iconic portrait named Tutu was a 1974 painting of Adetutu Ademiluyi, an Ife royal princess, and was auctioned in London at 101 New Bond Street London at 5.00 p.m. London time, and in Lagos at Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, at 6.00 p.m. Lagos time simultaneously. It sold for £1.2 million (1.4 million euros, $1.7 million), exceeding estimates and setting a record for the artist.
Enwonwu painted two other versions of Tutu but all three were lost.
The paintings gained fame not only for their beauty but also for their disappearance. The discovery is partly thanks to the efforts of Giles Peppiatt, Director of African art at Bonhams, who for years made it his mission to find the paintings.
At the auction, he said:
The portrait of Tutu is a national icon in Nigeria and of huge cultural significance. It is very exciting to have played a part in the discovery and sale of this remarkable work.