Painter Susan Gunn has beaten 30 shortlisted competitors from 22 countries to win 25,000 euros (£17,000) in the inaugural Sovereign Art Prize.
Susan Gunn won for her work Specto Spectus I & II
Gunn, wife of former Norwich City and Scotland goalkeeper Bryan Gunn, won with an 8ft, by 10ft red painting.
More than 300 European artists submitted work for the prize.
"This is a beginning for me... I'm not represented by a gallery yet and that's the next step," said Gunn, who went back to art school six years ago.
"Initially when I was shortlisted I was over the moon. I really considered being shortlisted a prize in itself."
The painting entitled Specto Spectus I & II has been on display at Bonhams auction house in central London.
"Seeing my work hanging in such a beautiful space, and positive feedback from members of the public and the art world, meant I did allow myself to have a sneaky hope," said Gunn.
Her painting is described as "a carmine-coloured painting whose subtle surface textures speak of an overt male world of leather bound clubs, but also a subversive powerful female reality that links it to blood and veins which appear to work below the surface."
Sir Peter Blake, famous for designing the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, was chairman of the judges.
The prize was presented by the founder and chairman of the Sovereign Art Foundation at a gala dinner at Bonhams.
It was set up to celebrate the best in contemporary European painting and raise funds for the arts.