February 12, 2020 - 10:58 AMT
David Hockney's "The Splash" auctioned off for $29.9 million

One of British artist David Hockney's most famous works, "The Splash", has been sold for £23.1m ($29.9 million) at Sotheby's in London, the BBC reports.

The buyer is not known. It had been estimated to sell for £20m-£30m - and ended up going for £23,117,000.

The painting, in Hockney's minimalist style, depicts the moment after a diver hits the water in an LA swimming pool.

It is considered one of the stand-out pop art images of the 20th Century and is one of a trio of works alongside "A Little Splash" and "A Bigger Splash".

A Bigger Splash is housed in London's Tate Britain while A Little Splash remains in a private collection and has never appeared on the public market.

"Not only is this a landmark work within David Hockney's oeuvre, it's an icon of Pop that defined an era and also gave a visual identity to LA," Emma Baker, head of Sotheby's contemporary art evening sale, said in a statement.

When it was previously sold to a private owner in 2006 it went for £2.9m - a then record price for a Hockney work - and it has remained with that buyer until now.

Prior to that, the £1.9m sale of "A Neat Lawn", also in 2006, had set a precedent for a Hockney.