Sotheby’s London To Offer Iconic Painting of Manchester Life by One of Britain’s Best-Loved Artists

L.S. Lowry - Station Approach, Manchester

L.S. LowrySotheby’s is delighted to announce that an exceptional work by one of Britain’s best-loved artists, L.S. Lowry’s Station Approach, Manchester (dated 1960, est. £2-3 million), will lead the Modern & Post War British Art Evening Auction on 10th June 2014.

Ranked among the most significant works created throughout the artist’s career, this painting of one of Manchester’s historic landmarks, the London and North Western Railway Exchange Station, epitomises everything that Lowry has become known and loved for.

The subject was highly significant for the artist – he chose to produce a smaller version of this painting in 1962 to present to the Royal Academy of Arts, London, on being made a Royal Academician (see left, Lowry with Station Approach, 1962, Royal Academy of Arts Collection). The painting was first exhibited in the artist’s sell-out 1961 exhibition at Lefevre Gallery, London and has not been seen in public for a generation.

L.S. Lowry - Station Approach, Manchester
L.S. Lowry – Station Approach

Frances Christie, Sotheby’s Head of Modern & Post-War British Art Department comments, ‘Station Approach, Manchester is one of Lowry’s most exciting works to emerge onto the market in recent years. Lowry was a master at
portraying the energy and vitality of everyday life and in Station Approach, Manchester he captures the hustle and bustle of the crowds heading home after a hard day’s work – it is a superb example of Lowry at his very best.’

The crowds swell around the large sculpture of Oliver Cromwell, presented to the city in 1875, down Victoria Street, across the River Irwell and on to the station building beyond. The painting’s position within the history of the development of England’s industrial heartland is paramount, and this year marks the 130th anniversary of the Exchange station, which when built had the longest platform in the UK.

Built in 1884 and closed in 1969, the Victorian front of Manchester Exchange was actually already torn down by the time Lowry painted this work. Station Approach, Manchester captures the view up Victoria Street and on to the Victorian façade beyond, editing it only very slightly with the addition of the viaduct and the line of buildings to the left-hand side of the composition, which he most probably drew from the nearby Greengate district.

Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in eight different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby’s BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art department, and two retail businesses, Sotheby’s Diamonds and Sotheby’s Wine. Sotheby’s has a global network of 90 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).
Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.
Images are available upon request

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