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    The Lock by John Constable (1776-1837), courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2012. (Click on image to enlarge).  UPDATE: IT MADE £22,441,250.

    A celebrated Constable masterpiece is expected to realise more than £20 million at Christie’s sale of Old Master and British Paintings in London on July 3.  The Lock by John Constable (1776-1837) is one of six paintings that make up the artist’s most celebrated series of large scale works which also includes The Hay Wain, now in The National Gallery, London.  From the private collection of  Baroness Carmen Thyssen Bornemisza it is the last to remain in private hands.  Sold only once since it was acquired from the artist it became the most valuable British painting ever sold when bought at auction for £10.8 million in 1990. It was originally owned by the celebrated collector James Morrison (1789-1857) and remained in the Morrison family until sold in 1990.

    The Lock was finished in 1824, one of the most significant years in Constable’s career, which saw The Hay Wain exhibited at the Paris Salon and King Charles X of France award him a gold medal. Constable’s success in France has been seen by many art historians as having significantly influenced the course of the history of art; his intense observation of nature inspired French artists in a movement of landscape painting that would find its fullest expression half-a-century later in the work of the Impressionists.

    Jussi Pylkkänen, President of Christie’s Europe, Middle East, Russia and India anticipates that it will attract bidding from museums and collectors from all over the world.  It is estimated at £20-25 million.

    UPDATE: IT MADE £22,441,250.

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