• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7729

    20th Century British Art

    21 May 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 91

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)

    A Market Place, Berwick-upon-Tweed

    Price Realised  

    Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)
    A Market Place, Berwick-upon-Tweed
    signed and dated 'L.S. LOWRY 1935' (lower left)
    oil on panel
    15 x 19¾ in. (38 x 50.2 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Berwick-upon-Tweed, England's most northerly town, was a place often visited by Lowry after an initial stay in 1935 when he was encouraged by his doctor to take a break from the pressures of caring for his ailing mother. Lowry's visits to Berwick-upon-Tweed became more frequent after her death in 1939, and he often stopped there en route to Scotland. In time, he developed such a love of the town that he even considered a move there to a house on the sea front in the 1940s.

    On Lowry's many visits to this traditional market town, he often depicted the harbour, the beaches, the River Tweed, and the narrow side streets leading into the market square. On this occasion, painted during or shortly after the artist's first sojourn, he portrays the lively market square, dominated by the striking presence of the Georgian town hall, which overpowers the skyline with its elongated tower. The darkness of the building contrasts strongly with the brightly painted shops and houses and the bustling movement of the community crossing from one side of the street to the other. Lowry presents us with a full cast of characters: many figures in the centre of the composition appear to be watching a couple on the steps of the town hall, while others form animated groups, and some single figures look out at the viewer. In the foreground, two of the artist's familiar black dogs follow a small boy across an open section of the road.

    The proceeds of the sale of this work will enable Cambridgeshire Culture, a steering group made up of officers and members of all political parties, to continue to support the cultural experiences of children and young people across the county. The proceeds will continue the work already achieved under the Cambridgeshire Culture Programme and will be used in activities ranging from the visual and performing arts, film and media, literature, sport and heritage.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    with Lefevre Gallery, London, where purchased by Henry Morris on behalf of the present owners on 10 February 1945 (for 30 gns).


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM CAMBRIDGESHIRE SCHOOLS' ART COLLECTION


    Literature

    S. Rohde, L.S. Lowry A Life, London, 2007, pp. 54-55, and illustrated on the back cover.


    Exhibited

    Cambridge, Magdalene Street Gallery, Lowry Loan Exhibition, April - May 1967, no. 3.
    Salford Quays, The Lowry, Lowry's Travels, January - July 2003: this exhibition travelled to Sunderland, Museum and Winter Gardens, July - October 2003.
    Salford Quays, The Lowry, on loan, January 2003 - March 2009.