Page last updated at 08:11 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 09:11 UK

Hockney artwork sets record price

Beverley Hills Housewife by David Hockney
Hockney met the sitter, who died in January this year, while painting her pool for his California Dreaming series

Beverly Hills Housewife, a painting by renowned British artist David Hockney has sold for a record $7.9m (£5.2m), according to auction house Christie's.

The canvas, which is 4m long, had been expected to fetch between $7m-10m (£4.6m-£6.6m).

The painting shows Californian arts patron Betty Freeman in a pink dress standing on the patio of her home.

The previous record for a Hockney work was set by The Splash, which sold at Sotheby's in 2006 for $5.4m (£3.6m).

Beverly Hills Housewife was one of 20 contemporary works from the estate of Ms Freeman, who died in January at age 87, which were the highlight of the auction of post-war and contemporary art in New York on Wednesday night.

A Claes Oldenburg sculpture Typewriter Eraser, from 1976, also set a record, selling for $2.2m (£1.4m).

Christie's said 18 of the works from the Freeman estate sold for a total of $31.6m (£20.8m).

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