Kieron Williamson's extraordinary gift as a painter has been likened by our own art critic to that of the Old Masters. But he's still only nine. What does the future hold for such a prodigy?

This article titled “Kieron Williamson: Boy wonder” was written by Patrick Barkham, for The Guardian on Friday 11th November 2011 19.20 UTC

Maroon tie flying from his pale blue school shirt, Kieron Williamson hurtles along the lane outside his new home wearing a pair of hand-me-down inline skates. It is not how you might expect to find an artistic prodigy on the cusp of an exhibition that will earn in excess of £100,000.

Two years ago, when I first met Kieron, he was a sweetly monosyllabic seven-year-old whose unusually proficient pastels and acrylics of the countryside around his Norfolk home had attracted praise and a waiting list of 680 buyers. Now there is a waiting list of 6,000, as Americans, Chinese and Germans clamour for a Kieron original. Paintings he sold for £2,000 have been resold for £10,000. His fifth exhibition opened yesterday at his local gallery in Holt and sold out in 10-and-a-half minutes, one painting fetching £15,595.

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