• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7424

    20th Century British Art

    16 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 127

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

    Girl's Head

    Price Realised  


    Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)
    Girl's Head
    signed and dated 'L.S. Lowry 1955' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm.)

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    The present work belongs to a series of paintings by Lowry in which he has depicted the head and shoulders of an individual against an empty background. These works are particularly uncompromising and the figures tend to stare straight out at the viewer. Lowry began working on these type of portraits in the 1930s, a time when he was working full-time at the Pall Mall Property Company in Manchester and nursing his bed-ridden mother. The haunting quality of the heads reflect Lowry's emotional state as he was emotionally and physically drained during this period of his life (see also Head of a man, sold in these rooms, 17 November 2006, lot 138, £254,400, private collection).

    Dating from 1955 Girl's Head demonstrates Lowry's continued interest in the grotesque: ' ... It just happened that way. Everything in my life has just happened. There's a grotesque streak in me and I can't help it. My characters? They are all people you might see in a park. They are real people, sad people; something's gone wrong in their lives. I'm attracted to sadness, and there are some very sad things you see' (see M. Howard, Lowry: A Visionary Artist, Salford, 2000, p. 162).

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    with Alex Reid & Lefevre, London, where purchased by Mrs. H. Sacher in 1964, and by descent to the present owner.


    London, Lefevre Gallery, Recent Paintings by L.S. Lowry, October 1958, no. 7.
    Salford, The Lowry, on loan until 2007.