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This eye-easy work, 26 x 32in (65 x 81cm), hardly conformed to Oudry’s image as a hunting and game specialist, a factor, together with a good provenance and condition, that helped it to its price. It showed instead a domesticated courtyard-cum vegetable-garden, with a woman by a well outside a thatched, timber-framed country house. The foreground was cluttered with turnips, pumpkins and a jug on a barrel; the background with an array of potted plants on a rickety table, with a tall ladder perched meaninglessly against a lowish wall behind.

The last major Oudry to come on to the market was his 1737 painting Le cerf sur les rochers de Franchard, Foret de Fontainebleau, which made Fr1.9m (£250,000) in Paris in December 1995, although his series of drawings for the Montenault edition of the Fables de la Fontaine sold for £500,000 at Sotheby’s in London in July 1996.