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Laurence Stephen Lowry

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Laurence Stephen Lowry was an English artist. He was a regular visitor to Cleator Moor. 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He painted mysterious unpopulated landscapes, brooding portraits and the unpublished "marionette" works, which were only found after his death.

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.

Lowry was friends with a gentleman called Geoffrey Bennett. The Bennetts moved to Cleator Moor in the 1940's, when Geoffrey was made manager of the National Westminster Bank. Lowry kept in touch, and often visited. Lowry painted a picture of the bank and other local scenes.

While in the town, Lowry painted scenes that caught his eye. Perhaps one of his most popular scenes from the town is Cowles Fish & Chip Shop. One day in Cleator Moor, Lowry suddenly noticed crowds of people outside the shop. He borrowed pastels belonging to Bennett's son and set to work at once.

Bennett had an impressive collection of artworks, and when he died these were left to the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle Cathedral, who sold them to raise funds to support the maintenance of the Cathedral.


L.S. Lowry, 1948. Cowles Fish And Chip Shop. Cleator Moor.
L.S. Lowry, 1948

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Laurence Stephen Lowry
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