L.S. Lowry is one of Britain’s most celebrated and best-loved artists of the 20th century. He is famous for his industrial and urban landscapes, populated by crowds of ’matchstick men’, reminiscent of the towns of the industrial North of England, where the artist lived and worked. He attended the Manchester School of Art from 1905, where he was exposed to recent innovations in French painting.
Lowry’s pallete is characteristically limited, and he once famously declared that: ’I am a simple man, and I use simple materials: ivory black, vermilion, prussian blue, yellow ochre, flake white and no medium. That's all I've ever used in my paintings.’ Despite his public persona of the ’simple man’, it has been argued that Lowry was aware of contemporary trends in Continental painting, and that his own works were more sophisticated than he liked to imply. The largest collection of Lowry’s works is now held by The Lowry, a purpose-built exhibition space in Salford Quays.
Lowry was a prolific artist, and his works attained a high value in his own lifetime. More recently, fifteen of Lowry’s works from the A.J. Thompson Collection sold at Sotheby’s for a collecting £15 million. His most expensive painting to date – Piccadilly Circus, London – sold in 2011 for £5.6 million.