South Scotland

Sir Sean Connery nude found among late artist's works

Sean Connery painting
The painting was completed before Sir Sean Connery made his breakthrough as an actor

A nude painting of Sir Sean Connery has been discovered in a Scottish Borders artist's unseen collection.

It was painted in 1951 when the James Bond star was working as an unknown nude model for Edinburgh students.

The oil on canvas - thought to be worth thousands of pounds - was discovered by relatives of artist Rab Webster, who died last month aged 83.

He was a student at Edinburgh College of Art when Sir Sean posed for students shortly before his acting breakthrough.

The collection of Mr Webster, a former art teacher at Selkirk High School in the Borders, is set to go on public display for the first time.

Nick Bihel, who is married to Mr Webster's niece Heather, said: "There were a few sketches of Sean Connery which are distributed among the family so to speak.

"The oil painting was part of a whole load of paintings just stacked on top of each other in a studio he used as a dark room.

"He never sold or exhibited any of his paintings but it is fairly obvious he was a very talented artist."

Taking stock

Mr Bihel said that he could remember Mr Webster talking about painting the famous actor.

"He said Connery treated it just as a job and that he didn't say very much," Mr Bihel added.

"I have no idea how much the painting of Sean Connery would be worth.

"At the moment we are just taking stock of the situation but we would like to put them on display in Selkirk in the near future.

"Obviously some will have to be sold as there are just too many to keep them all."

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