Sean Connery`s oil painting up for display

London: A near nude picture of 007 star Sean Connery is up for exhibition.

The oil painting, which was hidden in a little darkroom till now, shows Connery posing for an art class wearing nothing but a thong.

The actor worked as a male model for art classes before becoming a huge star in Hollywood.

The artist Robert Webster, known as Rab, painted the actor, who later played 007, in 1951. Webster was a student at the Edinburgh College of Art, and a 21-year-old Connery modelled for his class, the Daily Mail reported.

Following Webster`s death last month at the age of 83, his family decided to stage an exhibition of his work including the previously unseen image of Sir Sean, now 80, and his bare back.

"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 darkroom.

"It`s a totally unseen collection. We always knew he had done work of Sean Connery. Sean Connery was a male model for art classes at the college when Rab Webster was there," said Nick Bihel, who is married to Webster’s niece Heather.

The exhibition is expected to include 50 paintings created by Webster between around 1945 and 1967.