From 1819, the artist gets a highly deserved recognition for his paintings of rural scenery. Now having full confidence in his art, he begins a series in large size of the local landscapes in which he was impregnated since his childhood.
John works slowly in his studio, using his sketches. He expresses altogether the charm of the place, the tranquility of the activity, the ever-changing sky, the wind, the threat of a shower rain. Beginning in 1821 with the Hay Wain, the series around the River Stour is the greatest achievement in the art of English landscape painting, combining a romantic inspiration to an execution in a perfect realism.
The Lock, painted in 1824, is the fifth of the six paintings in this series. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, it is bought on the first day by a collector. This oil on canvas 142 x 121 cm was sold for £ 22.4 million including premium by Christie's on July 3, 2012.
John is a sensitive artist who certainly felt the sale of his painting as a tear to his childhood memories. His personal papers indicate in 1825 that he is completing a copy. This oil on canvas is estimated £ 8M for sale by Sotheby's in London on December 9, lot 44.
Experts see some differences between the two versions, perhaps a sky darker in places which announces the most expressionist landscapes of the following years. I would rather say that the similarity of the two paintings is extremely remarkable, especially since John had not the original version in hands when he made the copy. The care with which the artist conceived his compositions is unsurpassable.
The second version had not been painted for the purpose of sale and John kept it all along his life. It was used to prepare the print published in 1834.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
SOLD for £ 9.1M including premium