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An example is the sepia Near Grignan – The Residence of Mad de Sévigné, 1821.

The 6 x 9in (15 x 23cm) composition depicts Drôme, a region in south-eastern France, and is offered in the exhibition 200 Years of Paintings & Watercolours at John Davies Gallery in Gloucestershire from February 29-March 21.

This rare item, catalogued as being in ‘superb’ condition, has been in a private collection for around 35 years.

The palette and pastoral subject matter of the scene are in marked contrast from Martin’s most famous paintings, such as the dramatically lit biblical scene Belshazzar’s Feast, which he produced in the same year.

The show includes historic and contemporary works at prices ranging from £425 to more than £69,000.

Many come from private collections, including a group of watercolours by Claude Hayes (1852-1922), which were stored together for more than 50 years.

The son of an Irish marine artist, Hayes was an English landscape watercolourist who stated on more than one occasion that “for many years I have never made less than £700 a year by my painting”.

That was the 1890 equivalent of about £90,000 today, though as fashions have changed, his works are now far better value for buyers.

Other artists on offer include Charles Robertson (1844-91), Rowland Hilder (1905-93) and David Tindle (b.1932).

johndaviesgallery.com