Ben Enwonwu.

The man who redefined what it means to be an African artist

Updated 5:30 AM ET, Sat March 24, 2018

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(CNN)Ben Enwonwu etched himself into Nigerian history.

His painting of a Yoruba princess in "Tutu" is considered a national masterpiece, with copies of it hanging in Nigerian homes across the country. To much speculation, the sought-after original was lost for over 40 years.
The renowned Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, told BBC's Radio 4 in 2013: "This particular painting "Tutu," the print, hung on every wall, of every middle class family in eastern Nigeria when I was growing up."
So when the famous portrait was recently unearthed in a "modest" London flat and sold at auction for $1.6 million (February 28) -- four times its estimated price, it sparked huge interest in the art world and amongst buyers in Nigeria -- many had set up shop in a hotel in Lagos to make live bids.