Goya oil painting will headline at Christie's

A Goya oil painting will headline Christie's Old Masters evening sale on December 8.

It's titled A Woman and Two Boys by a Fountain and was produced as a sketch for a series of tapestries commissioned for the king of Spain's dining room in the late 1700s.

Goya produced the sketch for a series of tapestries commissioned for the king of Spain

The theme was the four seasons, with this canvas representing part of the design for winter.

It shows a family bundled up against the cold, collecting water from a well, and carries an estimate of £4m-6m ($5m-7.6m).

The piece has the potential to trouble the longstanding record for a work by Goya (1746-1828), set at £4.5m ($7.1m) for Bullfight, Suerte de varas (1824) at Sotheby's in 1992.

Despite being a hugely important (and very well-known) painter, only a handful of significant canvases have ever come to auction.

This one hasn't been offered since 1960.

Other highlights include a rare view of the Fortress of Konigstein in Warsaw by Bernardo Bellotto (1712-1780).

It's one of five paintings of the castle he produced for King Augustus III of Poland in the 1750s and is expected to achieve around £2m-3m ($2.5m-3.7m).

Bellotto was trained by his uncle, the great Venetian view painter Canaletto - whose canvases sell for tens of millions.

The value of Belloto's work has grown in value as a result, as collectors seek a more affordable investment.

His record is $11m, set for a view of the Grand Canal in Venice in 2007.

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