Busy Street Scene Unknown
22 x 17 cm. (8 5/8 x 6 5/8 in.)
Sold [March 2008] for £19,200 including premium
Signed with Initials (lower right)
Ex. Coll. David Wheatley Esq.
with Grove Fine Art, Manchester, where acquired by a former owner
Lowry's interest in depicting the industrial North can be dated back to the period before the outbreak of the First World War. However it was during the early 1920's that he really began to build up and formulate the pictorial vocabulary of his Industrial landscapes for which he would become known and loved.
In these early Industrial drawings, such as Busy Street Scene, motifs and themes emerge that carried particular significance for Lowry, as they were to remain a staple in his work throughout his career. Carried out in a more academic manner than their later counterparts executed in oil, Levy has labelled them Lowry's 'line drawings' and sees them as clear reflections of Lowry's academic training at art school and interest in early Renaissance art. Through the clean, precise linear style, reminiscent of an architects plan, Lowry imbues a certain gravitas and beauty to his depiction of every day life in an industrialised city.
The significance of the line drawings of the early 1920's cannot be overestimated. Levy called them 'the most important innovation of the decade for Lowry' as 'he began to explore not only human psychology but the aesthetic construction of his subjects' (Mervyn Levy, The Drawings of L.S Lowry, Public and Private, Jupiter Books, 1976).