In the Mosque by Franco-Austrian artist Rudolf Ernst sold for £400,000 at Christie’s.

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The sale, held in King Street on July 4, was led by In the Mosque, an exotic vision of a mosque interior by Franco-Austrian artist Rudolf Ernst (1854-1932).

From a French private collection, the 23in x 2ft 5in (59 x 73cm) oil on panel was knocked down at £400,000, four times its low guide.

Mosques and prayer are a central theme in Ernst’s paintings, with composition, size and the vibrancy of colour often dictating price.

Ernst is noted for his photographic precision rather than ethnographic accuracy and freely juxtaposed objects from different cultures. The artist’s studio in Paris is said to have resembled a stage-set, crammed full of the artefacts he collected from his travels to Moorish Spain, Morocco, Tunis and Istanbul during the 1880s.

In all, the 95-lot sale totalled a respectable £1.98m with a 73% sell-through rate.