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Early Constable goes for £100k

PUBLISHED: 11:07 15 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

ONE of the earliest known oil paintings by East Anglian artist John Constable has sold at auction for more than £100,000.

The Harvest Field, painted in 1797, fetched £100,8000 under the hammer at Sotheby's in London on Thursday.

ONE of the earliest known oil paintings by East Anglian artist John Constable has sold at auction for more than £100,000.

The Harvest Field, painted in 1797, fetched £100,8000 under the hammer at Sotheby's in London on Thursday. It was expected to go for about £70,000 in the Important British Paintings sale.

Constable, who was born in East Bergholt in 1776, produced the intricate oil painting soon after his arrival in London where he was sent to learn the corn trade by his father.

But the young artist failed to devote himself to milling and instead developed a passion for the Dutch engravings he saw in the homes of his London friends.

Heavily influenced by these The Harvest Field marks Constable's first steps into the world in which he eventually achieved worldwide fame.

The painting which measures 19 by 26 inches and has a guide price of 50,000 to 70,000 was among the highlights of the Sotheby's sale.

Constable, who died in 1837, is one of the nation's most revered artists best known for his paintings of the Stour Valley on the Suffolk/ Essex border including The Haywain and Dedham Vale.

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