L.S. Lowry


L.S. Lowry, ‘Industrial Landscape’ 1955
Industrial Landscape 1955
© The estate of L.S. Lowry
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In Tate Liverpool

In Tate Britain


Laurence Stephen Lowry (/'laʊri/; LAO-ree; 1 November 1887 – 23 February 1976) was an English artist. Many of his drawings and paintings depict Pendlebury, Lancashire, where he lived and worked for more than 40 years, and also Salford and its surrounding areas.

Lowry is famous for painting scenes of life in the industrial districts of North West England in the mid-20th century. He developed a distinctive style of painting and is best known for his urban landscapes peopled with human figures often referred to as "matchstick men". He painted mysterious unpopulated landscapes, brooding portraits and the unpublished "marionette" works, which were only found after his death.

Due to his use of stylized figures and the lack of weather effects in many of his landscapes he is sometimes characterized as a naïve "Sunday painter", although this is not the view of the galleries that have organised retrospectives of his works.

A large collection of Lowry's work is on permanent public display in The Lowry, a purpose-built art gallery on Salford Quays, named in his honour. Lowry rejected five honours during his life, including a knighthood in 1968, and consequently holds the record for the most rejected British honours. On 26 June 2013 a major retrospective opened at the Tate Britain in London, his first at the Tate, and in 2014 his first solo exhibition outside the UK was held in Nanjing, China.

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Artist as subject

Film and audio

  • How To

    How to Paint Like Lowry

    Ever wondered how L.S. Lowry made his artwork? Join artist Kathryn Edwards to learn about perspective, form and colour
  • Listen

    Lowry: The Bigger Picture

    Claire Stewart gives an introduction to aspects of Lowry’s work not included in the exhibition, such as his extraordinary ...
  • TateShots

    L.S. Lowry: Curatorial walkthrough

    Lowry is Britain's preeminent painter of the industrial city


Sketches, letters, etc.

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