Croatian Goatherders at rest before a rustic cottage by Nikola Mašić – £9500 at Tennants.

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While he is little known in this country and biographical information in English is scarce, the artist is revered in his homeland as the father of both modern Croatian landscape painting and animal painting.

He was born in the town of Otočac in western Croatia and studied painting in Vienna, Munich and Paris.

After returning to Croatia, he focused on landscapes and genre scenes, mostly depicting rural scenes which were painted en plein air and in a style sometimes referred to as ‘embellished realism’.

A signed picture titled Croatian Goatherders at rest before a rustic cottage appeared at Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) on July 17.

The 2ft 2in x 20in (66 x 51cm) oil on canvas was a good sized work which combined elements of landscape with depictions of animals and figures.

Being well observed, especially with its use of naturalistic colours, it had an overall effect that captured life in Croatian peasant communities.

Estimated at £1200-1800, it drew good competition before it was knocked down at £9500.

The sum was the highest recorded auction price for the artist on the Artprice database, overtaking the €8800 (£7205) for a picture of a watercarrier by a river that sold at Auktionshaus Stahl in Hamburg, Germany, back in 2012.