Record price for painting by Hawke's Bay artist Rita Angus

Hawke's Bay Today, 6 May 2022

A painting by Rita Angus has sold in Australia for what is believed to be a record price for the Hawke's Bay artist.

The untitled painting of a rural Hawke's Bay scene was expected to fetch $380,000 to $480,000 on Wednesday night but sold for almost double that.

The 55.5cm x 75.5cm oil on board was auctioned by Australian fine art auction house Deutscher and Hackett, which told Hawke's Bay Today the painting was the most successful lot of the night at the auction.

The painting sold under the hammer for AU$675,000 and with the buyer's premium, the total came to AU$828,409 ($916,500) which is believed to be an auction record for Angus.

The buyer wishes to stay anonymous.

The Deutscher and Hackett catalogue had noted it was "only rarely that a new painting comes to light – one which has never been published" and described the artwork as a "significant discovery".

Little is known about the inspiration behind the painting, but a rural scene on Matapiro Rd has been touted as the possible source.