A LANDSCAPE painting by David Hockney has fetched £6 million at auction - the highest price the artist has ever achieved in London.

Under the hammer for the first time, the privately-owned 15 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon sold for £6,008,750 at Sotheby's Contemporary Art auction on Thursday evening, the auction house said.

The painting was created in 1998 in preparation for A Bigger Grand Canyon, the seven and a half metre wide masterpiece currently hanging in Australia's National Gallery.

It was included in two of the most important exhibitions of Hockney's career: his major 1999 exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and his retrospective at London's Tate Britain earlier this year.

Last year, a new record for the Bradford-born artist was set at Sotheby's in New York, where his Yorkshire landscape Woldgate Woods, 24, 25 and 26 October, 2006 sold for 11,712,500 US dollars (£8,929,932.90).