AN auction is giving art enthusiasts the chance to get their hands on an original piece of work painted within Constable Country.

The Munnings Art Museum staged a Romani encampment in its grounds in Dedham and invited amateur and professional artists to paint a variety of scenes.

The painters set up their easels to make a variety of different studies of the encampment over the course of the day before returning to their studios to complete at least two paintings.

The completed works - along with the preparatory studies - are now available to buy via an online auction, organised and supported by Reeman Dansie auctioneers of Colchester.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: John Fitzgerald's artJohn Fitzgerald's art

“A portion of the money raised from each picture sold in this exclusive online auction will be donated to the museum, to support its future exhibitions and events,” said museum director Jenny Hand.

“The Romani encampment scene and various details from it were captured in different ways and the participating artists have their own, distinctive styles and approaches. Prospective buyers will therefore be able to find an artwork to suit their taste.

“This year’s auction is another opportunity to own a unique, beautiful work of art, inspired by one our greatest painters of the 20th century, while also supporting the museum and some of the UK’s best plein air artists.”

The scenario during the event would have both charmed and been wholly familiar to Sir Alfred Munnings, who frequently painted rural scenes involving travellers.

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From the outset of his career, Munnings was captivated by gypsy life, not only in his native East Anglia but also on the South Coast of England.

He once wrote after a trip to Hampshire: “More glamour and excitement were packed into those six weeks than a painter could well contend with.

“Never in my life have I been so filled with a desire to work as I was then.”

Even during the first decades of the 20th century, Munnings perceived a way of life and traditions which were fast disappearing.

A selection of those works can be seen today in the Munnings Art Museum collection.

Bids for the auction can be made via until 9pm on Wednesday, November 24.