Ward's Book of Days.

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What happened on this day in history.


On this day in history in 1887 was born L S Lowry.

L S (Laurence Stephen) Lowry was a North of England painter celebrated for his industrial landscapes, which conveyed the austerity of twentieth century urban society. 

Lowry is often known as a ‘naive’ artist but this misconception is naive indeed! His work is characterised by the matchstick men, which crowd his landscapes. But the crudity of the drawing is belied by the power of his compositions. His figures are brought to life by the movement suggested by wind and rain and by the sparking of the characters’ clog irons. His colours may be drab and the background of industrial chimneys uninspiring, but the dourness creates poignant tonal relationships, which convey the realism of working class urban life.  

Lowry’s ability derived from natural talent although he did receive some formal training. Aged sixteen, he had art lessons from an amateur artist and at seventeen he enrolled for evening classes at The Manchester College of Art where he studied under Pierre Adolphe Valette a French impressionist painter one of whose specialities was urban scenes of Manchester. Later Lowry learned the art of portraiture from the American painter William Fitz. It was from these artists that Lowry developed his trademark of stylised figures upon an industrial background.

Lowry died on 23rd February 1976 and is buried at Manchester Southern Cemetery, plot c772. [Southern Cemetery, 212 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester, M21 7GL]

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