Street Scene, 1957

by L S Lowry

£85,000

This beautiful street scene by L. S. Lowry is from the later period in the artist’s life when he had become highly recognised. By 1957 Lowry had become more interested in the down and outs of British society, taking his sketchbook everywhere with him and drawing his surroundings as he went along, as we see in this insightful snapshot into the world Lowry saw.  The loose gestural draughtsmanship and ease of depiction suggests that the work was finished in situ.

MEDIUM: Pencil on paper
DIMENSIONS:  (unframed) 11.0 x 8.0 ins/ 27.9 x 20.3 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘L. S. Lowry’ and dated (lower left); Inscribed verso; “For my friend Eric of Oldham, who grew up in Lowry’s apocalypse of grime!” (Mervyn November 1975 12.25″ x 9.5″/ M Levy, 71, The Quadrant, SW20)

Catalogue No: 6166 Categories: , Tags: , , , , , ,

This beautiful street scene by L. S. Lowry is from the later period in the artist’s life when he had become highly recognised. By 1957 Lowry had become more interested in the down and outs of British society, taking his sketchbook everywhere with him and drawing his surroundings as he went along, as we see in this insightful snapshot into the world Lowry saw.  The loose gestural draughtsmanship and ease of depiction suggests that the work was finished in situ.

Lowry would often portray these figures in a simplistic and somewhat humorous manner. He insisted his work was based on real characters, often people he saw living on the streets. Also, the spontaneity of these drawings captured the energy of their location and that particular moment in time.

This particular drawing was owned by the artist and writer Mervyn Levy (1914 – 1996) former flat mate of the poet Dylan Thomas, and an authority on Lowry’s work, as well as a close friend of the artist. Levy commentated and wrote widely on Lowry’s art including the definitive publications, The Paintings of L.S. Lowry (1975) and The Drawingsof Lowry (1976).

L.S. Lowry;

Mervyn Levy;

Private collection gifted from above on 1975;

The Savage club, London (label attached verso);

Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Laurence Stephen Lowry was an English artist born on Barrett Street, Stretford, in Lancashire. Many of his drawings and paintings depict nearby Salford and the surrounding areas, including Pendlebury, which is where he lived and worked for over 40 years.

As a young boy, Lowry lived in the leafy Manchester suburb of Victoria Park. Lack of finances resulted in the family then having to move to Station Road, Pendlebury, Salford – a far more industrial landscape than Lowry had been used to. Lowry would recall “At first I detested it, and then, after years I got pretty interested in it, then obsessed by it.”

Lowry studied both at the Manchester Academy of Fine Art and at Salford Royal Technical College in Peel Park, close to where he lived. Tutored by the likes of the famed French impressionist Adolphe Valette, and inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite artists Ford Madox Brown and Rossetti, Lowry understood how the power of art and artists could influence the representation of landscapes and, in particular, the modern city.  Lowry felt that drawings were as hard to do as painting. He worked the surface of his drawings by smudging, erasing and rubbing the pencil lines on his paper to build the atmosphere of the drawing. Lowry developed his own individual style, gathering inspiration from the surrounding landscape of busy cotton mills, terraced houses and the bustle of the working classes.

Best known for his depictions of industrial Manchester and Salford and “matchstick men,” his work covers a wide range of subject matter including seascapes, landscapes and portraits, among which are the oil paintings of his mother and father which he kept on display in his home throughout his life

L.S Lowry has been one of the biggest British successes in the last ten years moving out of obscurity to a key position in British Art. His work can now be found in museums and private collections across the globe, including the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, The Imperial War Museum in London, the MOMA in New York and the Tate in London. In 2013, Tate Britain held a retrospective of his work, the first one since his death.

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