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This panoramic landscape, measuring 4ft 6in by 8ft (1.37 x 2.44m), was painted as a companion to Cropsey’s celebrated Autumn on the Hudson River (National Gallery of Art, Washington), whose success resulted in the artist being presented to Queen Victoria in June 1861.

The painting had been previously scheduled to be sold at Bonhams in March 1995, but a dispute among the charitable trust consigners resulted in its being withdrawn from the sale. Four and a half years later it finally came under the hammer with an estimate of £1m-1.5m.

It depicts one of the most celebrated views in England, from a vantage-point now enjoyed by some of glitziest home owners in London. Jerry Hall enjoys almost exactly the same view when she gets up in the morning, while the garden wall on the left-hand side of the composition belongs to Pete Townsend’s house, The Wick. According to Bonhams, neither Richmond resident expressed an interest in the painting and it was left to half a dozen telephone bidders plus three or four in the room to battle it out at the sale. The buyer was Seattle dealer A.J. Kohler, bidding on the telephone on behalf of a private client, underbid by Richard Green in the room.

The £1.4m price more than doubled the previous high for Cropsey of $910,000 (£568,750) for Lake Georgia, Sunrise at Sotheby’s New York in May 1995. It was also the second highest price ever achieved at Bonhams, after the £3.9m bid in May 1996 for Antico’s bronze Hercules at the Adams Collection sale.