LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY, R.A. (1887-1976)
LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY, R.A. (1887-1976)
LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY, R.A. (1887-1976)
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LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY, R.A. (1887-1976)
4 More
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A NOTABLE BRITISH COLLECTION
LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY, R.A. (1887-1976)

The Railway Platform

Details
LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY, R.A. (1887-1976)
The Railway Platform
signed and dated 'LS LOWRY 1953' (lower right)
oil on canvas
18 x 30 in. (45.7 x 76.2 cm.)
Painted in 1953.
Provenance
with Lefevre Gallery, London.
with Richard Green, London, where purchased by a private collector.
Their sale; Sotheby's, London, 15 November 2011, lot 19, where purchased by the previous owner.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 25 November 2015, lot 5, where purchased by the present owner.
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, A Memorial Exhibition of Paintings & Drawings by L.S. Lowry R.A., London, Lefevre Gallery, 1976, pp. 6, 25, no. 15, illustrated.
M. Levy, The Paintings of L.S. Lowry: Oils and Watercolours, London, 1978, pl. 59.
D. McLean, L.S. Lowry, London, 1978, p. 14, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Modern British Paintings, London, Richard Green, 1984, pp. 68-69, no. 38, illustrated.
T.G. Rosenthal, L.S. Lowry: The Art and The Artist, Norwich, 2010, p. 179, illustrated.
Exhibited
London, Lefevre Gallery, Recent Paintings by L.S. Lowry, October 1953, no. 20.
Sunderland, Arts Council of Great Britain, Sunderland Art Gallery, L.S. Lowry, R.A.: Retrospective Exhibition, August - September 1966, no. 72: this exhibition travelled to Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, September - October 1966; Bristol, City Art Gallery, October - November 1966; and London, Tate Gallery, November 1966 - January 1967.
London, Lefevre Gallery, A Memorial Exhibition of Paintings & Drawings by L.S. Lowry R.A., May - July 1976, no. 15.
London, Royal Academy, L.S. Lowry, R.A., September - November 1976, no. 201.
London, Richard Green, Modern British Paintings, May 1984, no. 38.
Salford, The Lowry, on long term loan, 2016-2022.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Angus Granlund
Angus Granlund Director, Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

'The character of the figures and crowds is also specially English. They know each other, recognise each other, exchange help and jokes' John Berger
Lowry was a frequent traveller, and as he never owned or learnt to drive a car, his preferred mode of transport was the train. With the present work, the artist depicts a crowd of travellers on the adjacent platform, observed while his train was waiting at the station. Indeed, the comfort of a warm carriage provided the perfect vantage point from which Lowry could study the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The artist once related such an episode from 1957 to friends, 'I came on the train, and facing me - facing me - was a lady with a beard, and I couldn't take my eyes off her. I did a quick sketch, but she noticed and said angrily, "What are you doing?. What are you drawing?"... At first she was greatly troubled but we talked, and by the time we reached Paddington we were the best of friends'. This encounter resulted in the painting, Woman with a Beard, 1957.

Typical of Lowry’s most characteristic depictions of the working classes in the industrial North, The Railway Platform depicts a scene teeming with patient travellers in a bustle of activity: companions meet and greet each other, a dog nuzzles its owner's leg for his attention, and commuters converse in small animated groups, while solitary figures read newspapers. This scene represents the timeless monotony of the industrial commute. Such a large crowd is captured here that it was necessary for Lowry to employ an unusually long format, in order to capture a vignette of the mill and smoking chimneys so typical of the artist’s output, glimpsed beyond the station walls.
Pictures of railway stations are very rare in Lowry's output: The Railway Station being the only railway picture located in the North, with a small number of paintings of Paddington station existing. With the present work, the station is clearly identified as Pendlebury Station on the Bolton Road, opposite St Augustine's church, and only half a mile from Lowry's home at 117 Station Road. The jagged awning that hangs somewhat ominously over the people on the platform is in reality a distinctive frieze in yellow brickwork, still visible today, although the station was decommissioned in 1960. The Railway Platform was painted in 1953, the year following Lowry’s retirement from his role as Chief Cashier of the Pall Mall Property Company in Manchester. Although later in the 1950s Lowry’s output is symptomatic of his subsequent exploration of the North East coastline, hills and dales of Cumbria, the Lake District and South Wales, his work of the early 1950s is very much preoccupied with the industrial North. Thus the ubiquitous railway station retains Lowry's people in the Manchester suburbs, even if the artist himself was posed to travel onto other destinations.

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