Cornwater Fine Art Gallery - Specialist dealers to the trade and retail in original paintings and signed prints by L.S. Lowry, David Shepherd and Russell Flint.

Lowry in the streets of industrial Lancashire

"In 1976, the population of the earth was three and a half thousand million. The chances of any one person making such an impact that his work becomes a fingerprint recognisable throughout the world is, therefore, vanishingly small. We are honouring today such a man, whose work is instantly recognisable whether viewed in London or Tokyo." A quote from Lowry's award ceremony as an honorary doctorate of literature.

L.S.Lowry died at 88 years old after pneumonia and a stroke. He passed into history like the scenes he portrayed.

If he was a genius, it appeared to have brought him little joy and less comfort.

He was a tall pear-shaped man, living alone, withdrawn, without ostentation, and for years he had tended to complain about his lack of privacy.

He had many callers. When he tired of their company he yawned. A Lowry yawn could be prodigious and it was an unmistakable signal: it meant he was ready to return to his solitude.

Just before his birthday in November, he emerged from his front door, his feet scuffed in deep whirlpools of autumn leaves that had gathered in his drive.

He was in no good mood for birthdays. "Talk about it?" he said. "What is thee to say? I'm 88, not 68 you know, and people are still coming, people, people..."

His old house stone built and detached, is at Mottram in Longdendale, near Stalybridge, Cheshire. To the motorist, the place is just an unmemorable blur between Manchester and Barnsley. Lowry lived modestly, even frugally, in spite of his success. There is no garden at the front to speak of; the lower windows were shielded by straggling privet...

He often wore a clerical grey suit not in the most pristine condition... When shown an advertisement for one of his prints; "250 beautiful prints of 'On the sands' from a guaranteed limited issue of 500. Each print signed by the artist, Signed Lowry's make for a sound investment and have shown sustained profit growth over the years..."

"Is that what it was all about", he asked "investment.. all art has become an investment". he said.

A droll man wearing his sadness like a cloak, he could be kind, charming or distant according to the mood.

He could give a painting worth £30,000 to an art gallery, then complain about the government taking his money in taxes.

He was harder than he appeared to be at first sight, much more shrewd. He had to be in his early years.

Lowry was middle-aged before he achieved any real success. Which is why he complained. "People should have come before, that's when they should have come. They never came to see me then." He was an only child born in Manchester 1887, his father was an estate agent and his mother a talented musician. They were comfortably off.

Lowry's teacher at Manchester regional college of art painted the industrial scene and showed him reproductions of the work of the impressionists The two influences were to shape Lowry's work. He became fascinated by mills and the people worked in them.

David Tatham, fine picture dealer for more than quarter of a century, has an extensive knowledge of Sir William Russell Flint's biography. Signed, prints and drawings can be seen and purchased from the website.

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