'Pear Still Life', 1971, oil on canvas, 20in x 2ft (51 x 61cm), priced £45,000 from Piano Nobile as part of its Craigie Aitchison exhibition.

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However, the finished composition, offered at the Piano Nobile exhibition Craigie Aitchison and the Beaux Arts Generation, was pared down to just a lemon, pear, distant tree and branch with berries.

The process was typical for the Scottish artist, who said: “When I’m painting all I do is alter. I can’t get started until I’ve got the turps to rub it out.”

The show runs from November 14-January 29, 2020. Appearing alongside Aitchison’s works are those by four of his contemporaries: Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and Euan Uglow. All were first exhibited at Helen Lessore’s Beaux Arts Gallery in the late 1950s and early ‘60s.