Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more
Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)

Beach with Yachts

Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)
Beach with Yachts
signed and dated 'LS LOWRY 1969' (lower left)
oil on panel
7 x 13¼ in. (17.8 x 33.5 cm.)
Purchased directly from the artist by Lefevre Gallery, London in March 1973, from whom purchased by the present owners in October 1973.
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.

Lot Essay

Lowry here provides a wide-angled vista where sea, sky, headland and people appear to merge through the use of colour and brushstrokes. The sea dominates the canvas, occupying both the lower and upper areas so that it encompasses the land and the human element within the painting, and is thus the dominating force. Unlike other of his populated seascapes, Lowry's indistinct treatment of the figures here creates an eerie feel to the painting. What is striking in this eerie relationship is that the human element (both the figures on the shore and the view from the land), is subjugated to the enveloping presence and power of the sea.

Lowry's generalised settings for the activities of the seafront could suggest any of the seaside resorts that appeared in the late 19th Century. Lowry was one of many who regularly escaped the northern cities for the pleasures of the resorts, and the leisure industry they afforded is echoed in his work. For Lowry the sea provided both memories of childhood holidays, but also an activity he fundamentally enjoyed, saying once: 'some people like to go to the theatre, some like to watch television, I just like watching ships' (M. Howard, Lowry: A Visionary Artist, Salford, 2000, p. 234). For him, then, the sea afforded a degree of contemplation, of expectation and of his own personalised vision.

Related Articles

View all
‘My ambition was to put the in auction at Christies
Virtual tour | Handbags x HYPE auction at Christies
At your service: curating inte auction at Christies

More from 20th Century British Art Including Good Friday, Daisy Nook and Five Important Paintings by L.S. Lowry

View All
View All