Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)
Sandsend near Whitby
signed and dated 'L.S. LOWRY 1953' (lower right)
oil on canvas
14 x 22 in. (35.5 x 55.9 cm.)
with Lefevre Gallery, London.
Alan Tillotson; Christie's, London, 18 July 1961, lot 160A, where purchased by the present owner.
Bolton, Museum and Art Gallery, Art Patrons' Exhibition, September 1967, no. 53.

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Lot Essay

The small seaside town of Sandsend nestles at the foot of Lythe Bank just along the coast from Whitby, North Yorkshire. Sandsend near Whitby is dominated by the huge geometric viaduct running horizontally through the painting. Opened in 1883 by the North Eastern Railway company the line ran from Teeside to Whitby, however, the scale of industrial progress meant that by the mid-1950s this line was becoming redundant and was finally closed in 1958. The East Row viaduct, depicted here, was demolished in 1960.

In Sandsend near Whitby we see the central themes of industry and work juxtaposed to nature and leisure. The harsh, black geometric construction of the viaduct set against the fluid pastel shapes of the sand and sea is interspersed with the loosely painted figures. In 1953 this viaduct must have seemed to Lowry a potent symbol of man's disciplined order, yet only seven years later it was to have been destroyed by man himself.

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