LS Lowry is known for his paintings of the industrial landscapes of the north of
England. His stylised pictures of coalmines, factories and terraced houses were mostly
painted around Pendlebury and Salford, near Manchester. He had a recognisable style of
crowds of simple dark figures surrounded by slabs of grey buildings and industrial
Lowry worked full-time for his whole life as a clerk and continued to be chief cashier
at the Pall Mall Property Company in Manchester, even when he was one of the most popular
painters in Britain. He studied painting part-time in evening classes, and later only
painted at night after work. Lowry worked on his paintings steadily for many years and
only achieved popular success in his 60s.
His work Dwelling, Ordsall Lane, Salford (1927) is dominated by a row of dark
buildings. There is a crowd of tiny people but they seem to be dominated by the
architecture. Lowry once said that a street is not a street without people ... it is as
dead as mutton. The Liver Building (1962) is more geometric, with the people separated
from the buildings by a wide ribbon of river.