A boy of seven has been hailed a genius after selling his paintings for £17,000 in just 14 minutes.
Buyers from as far afield as Japan and Canada paid more than £1,000 each to buy one of Kieron Williamson’s 16 watercolours, oils and pastels of Norfolk landscapes.
It follows a sealed bid auction of his work this summer, when 19 of his paintings were sold for £14,000.
Adrian Hill, who runs the Picturecraft gallery in Kieron’s home town of Holt, where the sale took place, said: ‘He is red-hot. The last child artist in this bracket was Picasso.’
Kieron, whose 44-year-old father Keith is an art dealer, said: ‘It’s excellent. I was only expecting one or two to sell. Painting is my favourite hobby – but I like football as well.’
Until last year he showed no particular interest or ability in art, but he was inspired to take up pencil and paintbrush by a holiday in Devon and Cornwall. It proved a revelation.
A family friend, artist Carol Ann Pennington, spotted his talent and offered to give him lessons.
Kieron’s skill lies in a handling of light, colour and tone which is well beyond his years, according to Mr Hill.
But prices have been raised by talk among art experts of the investment potential of owning a Williamson original.
Mr Hill confessed he was astonished by the rate at which the paintings sold. ‘It was over before it started,’ he said.
So fast did the pictures sell that Kieron’s 36-year-old mother Michelle, arriving at the gallery at 9.15am, missed the excitement.
Gold dust: One of Kieron’s Norfolk landscapes
Ironically the stunning success of the sale means that there may be little of Kieron’s work left to display in an exhibition that was supposed to last a whole month.
Some of the paintings have already been removed from the walls, while others will only stay up until their new owners decided to collect them.
A further exhibition is mooted for next August – if Kieron can produce enough new paintings to replace his old stock by then.
‘Genius’: The seven-year-old handles colour, tone and light with amazing skill