Art could sell for £25m

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A PAINTING by John Constable that depicts rural life on the River Stour is expected to be sold for up to £25million.

The Lock – one of a series of six paintings from the artist’s The Stour Series – was offered for auction last week.

It will be sold at Christie’s auction house in London in July, and it is believed the piece will become one of the most expensive British paintings ever sold at auction, with an estimated price tag of between £20million and £25million.

The work was completed by Constable, who specialised in landscape paintings, in 1824 and shows a man using a wooden canal lock in preparation for a boat to pass through.

The painting is being sold by Baroness Hans Thyssen-Bornemisza from Spain, who bought the piece for £10.8million – a then world record price for a piece of British art – in 1990.

Christie’s has said the sale of the work, which is part of the same series that includes Constable’s most famous painting, The Hay Wain, represents a “major moment for the international art market”.

The picture, which has only been sold once and was previously owned by 19th century art collector, James Morrison, is due to be auctioned on July 3.