Constable's The Lock to bring $30m at Christie's?

John Constable's The Lock, formerly the most expensive British artwork, is to be offered by Baroness Thyssen at Christie's on July 3.

John Constable The Lock
Could this painting reclaim its former record?

The sale comes amid a row between the Baroness and her son and heir, Borja Thyssen, who has laid his claim to the Baroness' $800m art collection, which was part-funded by the inheritance money left by his father, Baron Hans Thyssen-Bornemisza.

The impressive collection, which contains more than 1,600 Old Master artworks, has previously been loaned to the Spanish government, for which they built a huge addition to a state-run museum in Madrid, spending $30m in the process.

The 1824 Constable work was originally bought by Baron Thyssen at a Sotheby's auction in 1990 for £10.8m. The price was, at the time, a new record for any British painting sold at auction. It is now being offered by Christie's with a low estimate of £20m.

The landscape depicts a man working the mechanism of a canal lock, and is considered one of Constable's finest works. It is one of six paintings Constable created of the River Stour that were exhibited at London's Royal Academy in 1825.

While strong results are expected for the work, it is unlikely to surpass the $119m world art record, which was set by Edvard Munch's The Scream on May 2. It may, however, reclaim its title as the most expensive British artwork at auction, which is currently held by Turner's Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino, which brought £29.7m at a London auction in 2010.



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