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.
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
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.”
Although some contemporaries cited him as an amateur, he was far from one. Lowry studied both at the Manchester Academy of Fine Art and at Salford Royal Technical College in Peel Park, close to where he lived. Academic records show him still attending classes in the 1920s. 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.
In 1976, he died of pneumonia at The Woods Hospital in Glossop, Derbyshire on 23 February, aged 88 and he was buried in Chorlton’s Southern Cemetery in Manchester, next to his parents.