LS Lowry painting depicting coastal resort of Lytham St Annes expected to sell for up to £1.5m at auction

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A painting considered to be one of LS Lowry’s finest seascapes could fetch up to £1.5million when it goes under the hammer.

The treasured artist’s much-loved 1947 work titled ‘Beach Scene, Lancashire’ is his unique take on a snapshot of a summer’s day at a north west coastal resort.

It is thought to depict a scene from Lytham where Lowry holidayed as a child.

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A description of the of the painting on Sotheby’s website reads: “The sea was a source of lifetime inspiration for Lowry – some of his first drawings as a child are of little ships, and we see the subject recur in various iterations throughout his career.

Beach Scene, Lancashire could fetch up to £1.5million when it goes under the hammer (Credit: Sotheby’s)Beach Scene, Lancashire could fetch up to £1.5million when it goes under the hammer (Credit: Sotheby’s)
Beach Scene, Lancashire could fetch up to £1.5million when it goes under the hammer (Credit: Sotheby’s)

“Some of these seaside works are just of the sea, which are almost eerily calm and tranquil for a work by Lowry, yet they are also beautiful, as the complete absence of human presence is so unusual in his works.

“In contrast to these, however, in Beach Scene, Lancashire, is full of all kinds of details of the various uses of the beach by different people, from the individual expressions on different character’s faces, to dogs, to boats out on the sea, the atmosphere of the sky and the ebbing movement of the sea.”

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It is one of five Lowry works being sold at the Sotheby’s auction in London on November 21 and comes with an estimate of £1-1.5million.

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The other paintings are 1957 work Up North, his 1935 piece Road Over the Hill, Rebuilding of Rylands, Manchester, from 1929 and Street Stalls, painted in 1926.

The others are expected to fetch between £500,000 – £1million between them in the auction.

Beach Scene, which shows off his palette of five colours – flake white, ivory black, vermilion red, Prussian blue and yellow ochre – was first exhibited in 1948 in London.

It was bought in 1955 by the Canadian media baron and politician Lord Beaverbrook, who later gave it to the art gallery he funded in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

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Renowned for his scenes depicting everyday life in northern industrial towns, Lowry was immortalised in the 1978 song ‘Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs’.

But exhibitions in recent years have revealed him to be a complex artist and his beach scenes are regarded as important and detailed as his urban landscapes.

Lytham St Annes held a special significance to Salford-born Lowry, who spent spent many family holidays there in his youth.

One of his Lytham paintings was also said to have been the only one that his mother expressed any inkling of a liking for.

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His bleak relationship with his mother Elizabeth was explored in the film Mrs Lowry and Son, starring Timothy Spall as the renowned artist.

Despite his work now selling for millions around the world, it is said she never missed an opportunity to tell him how much she despised his work.