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Laurence Stephen Lowry - Yachts, Lytham St Annes
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Laurence Stephen Lowry

Yachts, Lytham St Annes

Oil on canvas: 20 x 24 (in) / 50.8 x 61 (cm)
Signed and dated lower right: L.S. LOWRY 1955

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LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY RA RBA LG NS

Manchester 1887 - 1976 Glossop

Ref: CB 160

                                               

Yachts, Lytham St Annes

 

Signed and dated lower right: L.S. LOWRY 1955

Oil on canvas: 20 x 24 in / 50.8 x 61 cm

Frame size: 29 x 33 in / 73.7 x 83.8 cm

 

 

 

Provenance:

Lefevre Gallery, London, directly from the artist [X7337];

The Rt Hon Lord Beaverbrook (1879-1964), acquired from the above in 1956;

Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, Canada, gifted by the above in 1959 [1959.135 / 516]

 

Exhibited:

London, Lefevre Gallery, Recent Paintings by LS Lowry, March-April 1956, no.21

 

Literature:

Beaverbrook Art Gallery: Paintings, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton 1959, p.51, illus. pl.61

John Hadfield (ed.), The Shell Guide to England, Michael Joseph in association with Rainbird Reference Books, London, 1970, p.76, a detail illus. p.77

 

 

Lowry spent many childhood holidays with his parents at Lytham St Annes, a resort on the Lancashire coast, and began his career with images of the sea: ‘I used to draw little ships when I was eight,’ he recalled.[1] Mervyn Levy suggests the yachts at Lytham St Annes in particular haunted the artist’s imagination: ‘They re-appear over the years in dreamlike evocations of those long ago holidays; a touching tribute to his mother’s love of their old holiday resort.’[2] Throughout his artistic career Lowry regularly returned to the British coast for inspiration, as Richard Grossick relates, ‘observing it as a place of recreation and industry with people, promenades, promontories, docks, yachts, boats and ships. In 1938, shortly before his mother’s death, his relationship with the coastal landscape changed, stripped back to the bones, just sea and sky, a symbol of his more philosophical view of human existence.’ 

 

Lowry painted several scenes of Yachts at Lytham, marking his youthful fascination with the coast line of Lancashire and seaside locations across the country. In the present work, one of the

strongest and most successful, balancing a beautiful compositional arrangement with the masterful application of predominantly white paint, Lowry includes two figures in rowing boats to the right, which also feature in his earlier painting of 1912. The painting is perhaps most comparable in style, palette and technique to Yachts at Lytham or Sailing boats, 1930, another significant picture in the oeuvre of the artist belonging to the Lowry Estate and currently on loan to Manchester City Art Gallery. This earlier picture featured in the recent film, Mrs Lowry and Son, and is believed to have been a favourite of the artist’s mother, hanging proudly on the wall of his home in Mottram until he died. The Estate collection also includes a sketch of what seems to be the same scene, which was most likely made before the motif.

 

We are grateful to Richard Grossick of The Estate of LS Lowry, for his assistance with the cataloguing of this work.

 

 

           

LS Lowry, Sands at Lytham, 1956                         LS Lowry, Yachts, 1959

Oil on canvas: 7 ¾ x 12 in                                  Watercolour on paper: 26 x 36.2 cm

Yale Centre for British Art                                  The Lowry, Salford

 

 

 

Note on provenance:

This exceptional work was recently deaccessioned from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, Canada, to raise funds for future acquisitions. The Art Gallery was founded in 1959 by William Maxwell Aitken, 1st Lord Beaverbrook (1879-1964), one of the most influential figures of the early twentieth century. Financier, politician, press baron, philanthropist, art collector and supporter, it was Lord Beaverbrook’s original gift of 300 art works that established the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, whose British collection is one of the most comprehensive in the world.

 

[1] The artist cited in Michael Howard, Lowry, A Visionary Artist, Lowry Press, Salford 2000, p.226.

[2] Mervyn Levy, ‘Introduction’, LS Lowry RA 1887–1976, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London 1976, p.9.

Other Works By
Laurence Stephen Lowry:

Laurence Stephen Lowry - Study of people and animals Laurence Stephen Lowry - A street Laurence Stephen Lowry - Two men talking

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