From 1905-1915 he attended drawing
and painting classes at the Municipal College of Art (later
Manchester College of Art, and now part of Manchester Metropolitan
University), where he was tutored by Adolphe Valette.
Lowry moved to Pendlebury in Salford
with his parents in 1909, where he was to live for nearly 40
years. During this time he attended art classes at Salford School
of Art, developing an interest in the urban and industrial landscape.
He exhibited with the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts from 1919,
as well as entering paintings in the Paris Salon.
By the early 1930s he was exhibiting
at the Royal Academy in London. He was awarded an honorary MA
at Manchester University in 1945, and Doctor of Letters in 1961,
elected to the Royal Academy in 1962, and given freedom of the
City of Salford in 1965.
He lived in Mottram until he died
in 1976 - a death marked by unprecedented homage by the 'ordinary
people' of Manchester.
L.S. Lowry is unquestionably one
of the most celebrated British artists and his unique contribution
to recording the period, culture and landscape of industrial
Salford and Manchester is without parallel. His work is a most
distinctive and comprehensive record of the pre and post World
War Two northern industrial town.
Many people associate Lowry with
“matchstick men”, but he is known to have produced over 10,000
works, ranging from finished oil paintings to hastily drawn
sketches. The local industrial scene was his most frequent subject
but he also painted seascapes and portraits. He was a great
humorist and had intense insight into human nature, characterising
it without sentiment.
Later in his life he concentrated
on producing paintings of figures either singly or in groups,
invariably against a white background. He also produced thousand
of pencil drawings during his lifetime, these are now very collectable
and the best ones are incredibly detailed.
Lowry died without a registered
doctor, leading the galleries a merry dance. Hoping to inherit
a few paintings in his will, they courted him in his old age
only to find he had left them all to a girl, also called Lowry,
who had written him a letter years before, asking how she could
become an artist.
Lowry's status as one of the major
British artists of the 20th Century was reinforced when the
painting “Going To The Match” was sold at Auction for a record
£1.9 million to the Manchester-based Professional Footballers
Manchester's premier gallery,
The Lowry Centre in Salford Quays, now holds a major collection
of his work.