pounds 6m view of a lake set to break price record

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A 20th-century landscape painting is expected to realise more than pounds 6m when it is sold at auction by Christie's this autumn.

Experts believe that Schloss Kammer am Attersee II by the Viennese artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) may prove to be the most expensive modern oil painting sold in Europe this decade.

Works by Klimt are rare at auction and the painting, the last of a small series of five landscapes in private hands, is thought to be one of his most significant works.

The view of Schloss Kammer was painted in 1909 while the artist was on holiday with his mistress Emilie Floge and her sisters, on the shores of Lake Attersee near Salzburg, Austria. Between 1908 and 1912, Klimt painted five views of the schloss, a romantic house set in lush gardens beside the Attersee.

The four other paintings from the celebrated series are housed in national museums in Vienna and Prague.

The picture, more than a metre square, is the only view of the schloss painted from the garden.

Jussi Pylkkanen, director of Modern and Impressionist pictures for Christie's in London, said: "Because the other four paintings in this series are now in museums it is an utmost rarity to see a work like this up for auction.

"It is from his most coveted series and the last picture of this series of five fetched pounds 9m when it was sold in New York this May.

"We expect it to make over pounds 6m and it is highly possible that it could even top the pounds 7.5m mark, which would make it the most expensive oil sold in Europe this decade."

The landscape is part of Christie's fifth sale of German and Austrian art in London on 9 October.