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Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A. (1887-1976)
Study for The Steps, Irk Place
signed and dated 'L.S. LOWRY 1928' (lower left)
15 x 10¼ in. (38 x 26 cm.)
Private collection, Manchester, 1997.
with Grove Galleries, Manchester, where purchased by the present owner.

Brought to you by

Bernard Williams
Bernard Williams

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Lot Essay

This is probably one of the most realistic, and most closely 'accurate' a study for a painting that Lowry did, bearing in mind the obvious reservation that the study comes first. Apart from the natural saving of time and energy involved in having a much smaller population of the scene, there is only one significant deviation from the study in the final picture. In the study there are two houses on the right rather than one, which has the effect of bringing the right crossroad slightly, but only slightly, forward.

Here the man slouching against the wall on the left is more scruffily dressed than the more dandified figure in the painting. But, after all, the purpose of a study of this nature is to provide the artist with a record of what he has seen and, thereby, to provide a road-map for the greater adventure of producing a fully thought out - and extremely adventurous - oil painting. One is for starting, the other is for completion of the journey. But this is a particularly fine drawing and one can readily understand the motivation of any sophisticated collector who wants to own both versions.


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