Gainsborough portrait sells for £6.5m

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A PAINTING by Thomas Gainsborough fetched a world record price on Tuesday.

Portrait of Miss Read, later Mrs William Villebois sold for £6.5million at Christie’s in London – almost doubling the previous record for Gainsborough’s work at auction, set in New York in 2008.

The painting dates from around the 1770s and was sold from the collection of Cowdray Park, Sussex.

The estate sold three portraits in Tuesday night’s session, totalling more than £8.7million.

It depicts the granddaughter of East End of London brewer Sir Benjamin Truman, whose portrait by Gainsborough is currently in the Tate Britain.

The record-breaking sale coincides with the 50th anniversary of Gainsborough’s House museum in Sudbury.

The museum is holding a celebratory exhibition until September 17.