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The Independent Online
British Rail pensioners are pounds 5.5m richer after 20 Old Masters belonging to their pension fund sold well above the pounds 4.7m estimate at Sotheby's in London. The top lot was a bullfight scene by Goya, which made pounds 2.5m. Death of a Picador was part of a series painted by the artist to pay his medical bills after a near-fatal illness. It dated from 1793. The painting, executed in oil on tinplate, was expected to fetch between pounds 1m and pounds 1.5m.

Other works in the British Rail Pension Fund collection included a panoramic landscape by Dutchman Philip Koninck, painted around 1650, which sold to the London dealer Robert Noortman for pounds 925,000. Koninck, who trained in Rembrandt's circle, has long been regarded as an important figure in the development of Dutch landscape painting. (Arts News, page 9)