Family Group signed and dated 'L.S. Lowry 1951' (lower right) oil on panel 22 x 16 cm. (8 5/8 x 6 1/4 in.)
PROVENANCE: Monty Bloom Collection With Hamet Gallery, London, 29 September 1972, where acquired by Mrs. Helen Keith-Roach Sale; Bonhams, London, 2 December 2003, lot 79 With Neptune Fine Art, Derbyshire With Halcyon Gallery, London where acquired by the present owner Private Collection, U.K.
EXHIBITED: Southport, Atkinson Art Gallery, The Bloom Collection, 1967 London, Hamet Gallery, L.S. Lowry, 21 September-21 October 1972, cat.no.5
In later years L.S. Lowry posed for a charming black and white photograph holding a cup and saucer, beside a variety of his paintings positioned on easels (see fig.1). Propped carefully on top of four other pictures, the present lot can be seen unframed next to Lowry dressed in his artist's overalls. These figure groups only began to emerge in Lowry's work in the 1950s and would sometimes incorporate just a singular person, whilst others show more complex juxtapositions of adults and children, perhaps with a dog or cat. Many were painted without any context, like we see in Family Group, so that the spectator has only the figures themselves to concentrate on; others were placed in domestic settings or urban streets. The present lot is a curious painting in the sense that the figures' faces, especially of the two adults, have seemingly morphed into part human, part animal. It is beguiling; almost humorous and anticipates a number of characters which appear in some of Lowry's drawings dating from the late 1960s and early 1970s, for example the fabulous pencil drawing, A Group of Figures (reproduced in Michael Howard's Lowry, A Visionary Artist, Lowry Press, Salford, 200, p.200).