L.S. Lowry Clitheroe paintings at auction
Three paintings by L.S.Lowry depicting Clitheroe were due to go under the hammer at London auctioneers Bonhams as the Clitheroe Advertiser went to press.
And the first lot, a painting of Church Street measuring 40.9 x 30.8 cm, was estimated to fetch anywhere between £150,000 to £250,000.
The oil on canvas is signed and dated “L.S. Lowry 1964” on the lower left side of the painting.
Painted on at least seven occasions by Lowry, this particular view of Clitheroe, was a firm favourite of the artist. A smaller painting, also depicting Church Street, is also up for auction and estimated to fetch up to £70,000. Both have never previously been offered for sale, either at auction or with a gallery, having been gifted by Lowry to the family of the present owner Mrs Prudence Kunzel.
In fact, it has been the best part of 40 years since the larger Church Street painting was exhibited in public, at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1976.
A third lot is a 1955 drawing closely related to the 1957 painting “A Street in Clitheroe”.
It features the town’s Mount Zion Methodist Chapel which is now home to Clitheroe’s mosque. It was estimated to make anywhere between £30,000 to £50,000.
All of the “Clitheroe Paintings” were produced between 1961 and 1966.
Bonhams’ description of the lots reads: “These pictures are beautifully simplistic, with clean lines and uncomplicated compositions; a handful, or two, of figures are added on the road, some accompanied by a dog, and the church spire appears beyond the brow of the street.”
The Kunzel family, of Clitheroe, are mentioned on at least two occasions in Shelley Rohde’s biography of Lowry. It is believed the family, some of whom attended Lowry’s funeral on February 27th 1976, were in some way related to the artist.