Church yard, a watercolour catalogued as ‘attributed to George Pol Georghiou’ – £22,500 at Chiswick Auctions.

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But his reputation also spread beyond his homeland, especially in the latter part of his career as he exhibited pictures in the 1950s at the Lefevre Gallery in London, Bernheim-Jeune in Paris, Apollinaire Gallery in Milan, the Stadt Casino in Basel and the National Museum Bezalel in Jerusalem.

Born in Nicosia, Georghiou became a self-taught artist in 1938 after abandoning his profession as a lawyer. He became an influential figure, being one of a number of artists who helped established a distinct practice of painting which was inspired by Cypriot culture and history.

His paintings and murals can be quite exuberant although a recent example that made a rare appearance at a UK auction was more restrained. The view of a church yard was offered at Chiswick Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) on November 8.

A 11¼ x 8¾in (29 x 22cm) watercolour, it was signed and dated 39 to the lower right. It also carried an inscription on the back which implied it had been given as a Christmas gift by an English couple in 1944.

It was catalogued as ‘attributed to George Pol Georghiou’ and estimated at £1500-2500. After a good competition emerged on the day, it sold at £22,500. While the artist has fetched up to €90,000 (£63,730) for larger oil paintings at auctions in Cyprus, this was the highest price for a Georghiou watercolour according to Artprice.