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The Lock
By John Constable
Oil on canvas; from the private collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen Bornemisza
Size: 142.2 x 120.7 centimetres (56 x 47 inches)
Estimated Price: £20-25 million

John Constable (1776-1837), the English romantic painter, was distinguished by his intense observation of nature and commitment to the purity of undiluted nature as his principal theme. This is evident in his scenes of ordinary daily life and landscape paintings of his surrounding home in Suffolk. He was particularly inspired by the works of Thomas Gainsborough, Claude Lorrain and Peter Paul Rubens.

The Lock (1824) 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.

The Lock is the last to remain in private hands; it is currently in the private collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen Bornemisza, having been sold only once since it was acquired from the artist in 1824. When it was at auction in 1990 for £10.8 million, it became the most valuable British painting ever sold at the time – a record it held for 16 years.

Christie’s Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale will take place in London on July 3, 2012. For further information please visit http://www.christies.com.

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on July 1, 2012.