A WORLD famous masterpiece, painted by the leader of an artistic movement has been welcomed into a Cumbria for the very first time.

Claude Monet's Haystacks: Snow Effect will be displayed in South Cumbria's Abbot Hall from Friday January 12 until Saturday April 28, the first time the county has hosted work from the French impressionist painter.

The piece is just one of many from the Haystacks series, a showcase of works widely regarded as Monet's best work, on loan from the National Gallery in Scotland.

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Another piece from the collection called Meule, sold for a record $81.4 million back in November 2016.

Director of Lakeland Arts, Gordon Watson said: "We launch our 2018 programme with a masterpiece by Money which we believe will excite our audiences and set the standard for world class art throughout the year.

"Monet gives and international flavour to the programme and we also have a strong selection of diverse emerging artists and contemporary artists.

"Our programme also links with national campaigns including the Royal Academy 250 Anniversary celebrations and events surrounding the representation of the People's Act 1918, which allowed women to vote for the first time in Britain, highlighting gender discrimination in the art world."

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is among Monet's most notable work, and collections are held at the Musée d'Orsay and Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, and in the Art Institute of Chicago, where six of the 25 Haystacks pieces in this series are housed.

An exhibition containing 15 of these Haystacks paintings in May 1891 was a huge success, and every painting sold within days. Selling for as much as 1,000 francs, his prices began to rise, and as a result, he was able to buy outright the house and grounds at Giverny, that provided the inspiration for much of his work.

During the painting's stay in Kendal, Abbot Hall will also host a series of Monet drop-in sessions throughout February half-term.

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The stunning work opens what the gallery is hoping will be their most high-profile and varied programme to date, with both past masters and contemporary artists on show throughout 2018.

Alongside Monet, the programme features eminent artists including Grayson Perry and Elisabeth Frink.

Between Saturday 10 and Saturday 17, there will be family art fun inspired by Monet, where guests create 30 illustrations of Kendal Parish Church from the window of the Art Studio.

The sessions are suitable for children and are free with adult admission.