AN iconic painting by the founder of Colchester Art Society will go under the hammer where it is expected to fetch more than £30,000.

Part of the funds raised from the sale of Sir Cedric Morris’ Foxgloves will also go towards preserving his 16th century home which gave rise to the influential East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing.

Considered the quintessential Morris still life, the piece depicts pink and purple foxgloves as well as other English garden flowers.

It is expected to make between £30,000 and £50,000 when it goes to auction at Sworders’ on October 22.

Morris’s work is riding the crest of a wave at the moment and the auctioneers are hopeful of how much the painting may raise.

The vendor of the painting came to own it as her father and grandfather knew Morris and stayed at Benton End in Suffolk.

The picture has been in her family since the early Sixties.

She said: “Growing up, it was just one unframed painting among many hung on various walls. The name Cedric Morris meant little to us. After my grandfather died in 1989, the painting came to me and my brother.

“Though it’s a small and beautiful part of our family history, we now feel it’s time to pass it on to others who can also take pleasure in it.”

The seller will donate part of the fee to new charity, Benton End House and Garden Trust, which plans to open Morris’ former home in Hadleigh as a centre for artistic and horticultural education.

Morris and his lifelong partner Arthur Lett-Haines originally founded the avant-garde East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at their home in Dedham before moving it to Benton End House.

Over the decades it was open the art school helped train dozens of artists including early students Lucien Freud and Maggi Hambling.

Morris and Lett-Haines founded Colchester Art Society in 1946 with Morris serving as its president from 1979 until his death in 1982.