A signed work by artist Bob Ross for the first episode of his hit show “The Joy of Painting” has sold for more than $9.8 million.

The painting, oil on canvas 24″x18″ titled «A Walk in the Woods” was created 1983 at the start of the artist’s television career and is sold by Modern Artifact Gallery in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, which buys and sells some of the world’s most sought after art, antiques and memorabilia.

The painting is described by Modern Artifact as “the most historically significant original Bob Ross painting ever created».

“It is extremely rare to find works from Bob Ross episodes and this is a unique opportunity to own the first” reads the gallery description. “Although Bob Ross’s paintings have become highly sought after by collectors, the market is still developing,” he said.

“I think every one of us at some point in our lives has wanted to paint a picture,” Bob Ross said at the start of the episode. “I think there is an artist hidden deep inside each of us. Here we will try to show you how to highlight this artist” he noted.

Ross, who developed an interest in painting after taking an art class during his 20-year career in the US Air Force, died in 1995 aged 52.

The educational painting show, which aired in the US from 1983 to 1994, was so beloved that it gained widespread popularity after his death, with the help of the internet.