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L.S. Lowry biography
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"When I was young I did not see the beauty of the Manchester streets. I used to go into the country painting landscapes and the like. Then one day I saw it... suddenly I saw the beauty of the streets and the crowds." - L.S. Lowry, 1972
  L.S. Lowry biography

The life of Salford's favourite son
L.S. Lowry

Laurence Stephen Lowry was born in Rusholme, Manchester, in November 1887, the only child of Irish-born R S Lowry and Elizabeth Lowry (née Hobson). He attended a local school in Victoria Park, but took private lessons from William Fitz, before starting work as a clerk for a firm of chartered accountants in 1904.

From 1905-1915 he attended drawing and painting classes at the Municipal College of Art (later Manchester College of Art, and now part of Manchester Metropolitan University), where he was tutored by Adolphe Valette.

Lowry moved to Pendlebury in Salford with his parents in 1909, where he was to live for nearly 40 years. During this time he attended art classes at Salford School of Art, developing an interest in the urban and industrial landscape. He exhibited with the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts from 1919, as well as entering paintings in the Paris Salon.

By the early 1930s he was exhibiting at the Royal Academy in London. He was awarded an honorary MA at Manchester University in 1945, and Doctor of Letters in 1961, elected to the Royal Academy in 1962, and given freedom of the City of Salford in 1965.

He lived in Mottram until he died in 1976 - a death marked by unprecedented homage by the 'ordinary people' of Manchester.

L.S. Lowry is unquestionably one of the most celebrated British artists and his unique contribution to recording the period, culture and landscape of industrial Salford and Manchester is without parallel. His work is a most distinctive and comprehensive record of the pre and post World War Two northern industrial town.

Many people associate Lowry with “matchstick men”, but he is known to have produced over 10,000 works, ranging from finished oil paintings to hastily drawn sketches. The local industrial scene was his most frequent subject but he also painted seascapes and portraits. He was a great humorist and had intense insight into human nature, characterising it without sentiment.

Later in his life he concentrated on producing paintings of figures either singly or in groups, invariably against a white background. He also produced thousand of pencil drawings during his lifetime, these are now very collectable and the best ones are incredibly detailed.

Lowry died without a registered doctor, leading the galleries a merry dance. Hoping to inherit a few paintings in his will, they courted him in his old age only to find he had left them all to a girl, also called Lowry, who had written him a letter years before, asking how she could become an artist.

Lowry's status as one of the major British artists of the 20th Century was reinforced when the painting “Going To The Match” was sold at Auction for a record £1.9 million to the Manchester-based Professional Footballers Association.

Manchester's premier gallery, The Lowry Centre in Salford Quays, now holds a major collection of his work.

Lowry's City
The book that looks at L.S. Lowry's fascination with Manchester



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