A PAINTING by one of the most famous of all living artists and a global pop culture icon has sold for an impressive £10,000 at Thomas Watson’s Spring Fine Art Sale.

"Umbrella Man" by the German-born American Peter Max (born 1937) went under the hammer to an online bidder from Florida at the Darlington auction house on March 21 – in excess of its price estimate of £3,000-£4,000.

Known for his bold figures and vibrant, colourful images, Peter Max’s artistic diversity has touched almost every part of American culture and inspired generations. He rose to fame in the 1960s and was widely known for his psychedelic style expressed through posters, advertising and graphic works.

The result contributed to a company record for Thomas Watson as it achieved the highest total made at any of its auctions to date, with top prices across all the sale categories.

The Umbrella Man is one of the artist’s favourite character icons, appearing in numerous works in varying styles. The Thomas Watson portrait is a framed acrylic on canvas, measuring 189.5cm by 75.5cm.

“Peter Max’s work commands a large following worldwide and has a very wide appeal,” said David Elstob, auctioneer and valuer at Thomas Watson. “While he is synonymous with the cultural revolution of the 1960s, his works constitute a lasting part of contemporary culture and he is still hugely influential today."