Wednesday - 10 February 2016

Auction offers picture from Lowry’s Scottish holiday

09 August 2013Written by ATG Reporter

A 1937 oil painting by LS Lowry which he made while on holiday in Scotland will be offered at Bonhams next sale of Modern British and Irish art in London on November 20.

The 17 x 21in (43 x 53cm) signed oil on canvas is entitled Steps at Wick and has been estimated at £500,000-800,000.

It depicts the steps of the coastal town in the Scottish highlands which connects the residential area to the harbour below.

The town of Wick straddles the river Wick and extends along both sides of Wick Bay. It was Europe's largest herring port up until the early 20th Century. The steps were part of Thomas Telford's 1809 scheme for the new town plan although work was not begun until the 1820s.

Their local name is The Black Stairs and an engraved plaque can be found at the site of the steps in Wick commemorating the spot where Lowry made his painting.

While Salford-based Lowry is very much associated with industrial scenes of the North of England, his pictures of Scottish locations are much rare and mostly date from the 1930s when he used to holiday there regularly.

He also produced a work entitled The Turnpike showing a two-storey building in the Fisherbiggins area of Thurso, another coastal town in the Highlands.

The picture has been much exhibited over the years including at the Crane Kalman Gallery in 1975 and at the Royal Academy in 1976 (a show which broke all previous RAattendance records). It does not feature however at the current blockbuster exhibition at Tate Britain in London.

This is the first time in 20 years that it has come on the market.

  • Meanwhile, a new book on Lowry has been published by the Unicorn Press. T. G. Rosenthal's LS Lowry, the Art and the Artist has been billed as 'the perfect introduction to the work of this major painter of Britain's 20th-century'. ISBN 978-1-906509-14-9


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