L.s lowry 1887 - 1976

3 min läsning

One of the student 's of Adolphe Valette was Laurence Stephen Lowry. If there is a single artist that has made ‘visual’ the preconceived look and feel of the North of England (in opinion of the South of England), then it was surely L.S. Lowry. Like all of Valette’s students, Lowry admitted that he owed a great debt of gratitude to his French Master. His fellows (it is said) found Lowry to be a bit of an oddity.

Very tall, thin and a little ungainly. He was reserved and with an awkward social manner, Lowry was not one to gel well with his classmates. His first serious attempt at painting (a still life of fruit) in 1906 did however show some promise. Although Lowry became disillusioned in his own ability, as an artist, he told Valette that he would not be continuing with his lessons.

Valette visited Lowry’s father personally to ask him to persuade his son to change his mind as “he saw great promise in him” even though Laurence was his least favourite pupil. Lowry, continued to attend the class and finally accept himself and his Art for what it was, at this time in his life.

Lowry’s home life was complex and much has been written about the adoration he had for his mother. The most complete or in-depth biography was first written in 1979 by Shelley Rohde (a third edition in 1999 was published by the Lowry Press, Salford UK), which I can recommend as a fascinating insight into an artist that has come to be seen to epitomise an era of history so effectively of a mood of place in a specific era. The first reference of Lowry depicting a Northern English industrial scene was around 1916-1917. It occurred when he and his family moved to a working class area of Salford. It was a simple raw sketch in chalk, which he called Mill Scene.

His families move from a middle class area to the working class area of Salford was to stimulate a series of paintings that would eventually rupture the UK’s artistic elites view of what was and what was not considered as ‘Fine-Art.’ He certainly couldn’t live on his art, although he tried desperately to gain acceptance from the Manchester Art Academy and Art Galleries alike. Rejection followed rejection from the onset. Lowry then decided to ‘keep-quiet’ about his paintings and he went to great lengths to dissuade inquisitive inquiries about his art. For example he invented two brothers to hide behind and tell visitors that he wasn't in to meet guests. Lowry found regular employment as a rent-collector in the tenements and back streets of working class Manchester and Salford. It was a pos

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