This is an intriguing picture in that, like all the best Lowrys, it shouts across the room that only L.S. Lowry could have painted it. But the majority of pictures of this quality are neither vague, or at least non-committal, on the matter of which season is being depicted. Here there is no ambiguity about when in 1947 Lowry painted it.
The large tree to the right of the central house is indubitably stripped bare for its winter survival. The central road is, as so often, painted in a thick, almost impasto Flake White, Lowry's favourite all round background colour for townscapes and practically all other backgrounds including fields and farms. But if you look carefully at the road surface you will see not only that he has built it up with a relatively light impasto but that, with brush ends, knives or large nails, he has scarred the apparently smooth surface with a variegated scheme of deep lines and striations. Among the invisible culprits of these undoubted winter markings of snow, rather than tarmac, we can guess at sledge runners, bicycle wheel tracks, pram wheels etc.
In other words, to the presumed joy of several children, there has recently been a heavy snowfall and the winter has been cold enough not just to strip the tree but to keep the snow solid in that happy stage between ice and slush which enables both adults and children to walk or slide or skate more or less without risk so that they can enjoy the sheer beauty of winter in their home town.
The architecture is also interesting. In its habitual faded grey there is a massive square church tower behind the central house as well as, to the tower's left, a distant, slender, clockless church spire.
The houses on the right of the street are relatively commonplace but, considering the date of 1947, the half-timbered two storey house on the left is of considerable interest. Its immaculate frontage (not forgetting the absence of any form of bomb-damage elsewhere in the picture) implies that the whole street and maybe the entire town of Northleach escaped the attentions of the Luftwaffe. Given the extensive damage shown in other Lowrys of the period one can only speculate that this undamaged attractive place gave Lowry much pleasure.