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Edward Hamilton's Poppy Fields, seen top right, is dated '89, and places in a period of his life (1887-89) during which he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts with Jules Eli Delaunay and at the Academie Julian, under the tutelage of William Bouguereau. Hamilton had exhibitions in Paris in the years 1889-91 but by the following year had returned to Boston to set up a studio, although he went back to France on several occasions in later life. The canvas sold for $90,000 (£51,430).

Bottom right: I am reminded of the animated version of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman, but Blackbirds and Falling Snow by William Samuel Horton, although undated, definitely has the advantage of age. Born and raised in the Midwest, Horton encountered fierce family resistance to his plans to follow a career as an artist in Paris and he ultimately severed all ties. His studies in Paris began in 1892 and though he did make frequent return trips to the USA, he remained closely associated with the French Impressionists and especially enjoyed the company of Monet, Degas and Pissarro, as well as that of his fellow ex-patriot, Whistler, in London. Blackbirds and Falling Snow sold for $31,000 (£17,715).