The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Monday, November 29, 2021


L.S. Lowry's only painting of an auction room sells for £2.6 million
The artist's only known painting of an auction room made its debut in Sotheby’s Modern British Art Auction today. Courtesy Sotheby's.



LONDON.- One of Britain’s most beloved artists, L.S. Lowry and his works have been a mainstay at auctions for decades. What is lesser known is that he once turned his hand to painting an auction taking place, resulting in a bustling scene characteristic of the artist. Populated by familiar characters, and even a dog on a lead, The Auction transports the viewer into the centre of the action, with the auctioneer on the rostrum poised to bring the gavel down.

Executed on a large-scale in 1958, the work had never been offered at auction, and was acquired by the previous owners over two decades ago. Today, it sold for £2,556,000 / $3,438,842, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £1.2-1.8 million, as part of Sotheby’s ongoing Modern British Art auction in London.

Lowry only ever painted a small handful of interior scenes – intimate family groups, a doctor’s surgery, an election rally and an outpatients’ hall – in each instance choosing subjects that resonated with him. As early as the 1920s, Lowry touched on the subject of auctions with a drawing titled Selling Up the Old Antiques Shop. Another painting, Jackson’s Auction and Saleroom from 1952, depicts the exterior of the auction house in Manchester, with furniture amassed outside. In The Auction, this longstanding interest comes to its apex, and the viewer is shown the full glory of a sale in action for the first and only time. Paintings are stacked high and cabinets are busy being viewed, and through the hustle and bustle and rows of attendees, the auctioneer is elevated and about to seal the sale – a moment that would cause emotions from joy to disappointment for the buyer, underbidder or seller. There is a distinct sense of drama unfolding on a stage, which no doubt appealed to Lowry, who enjoyed many visits to the theatre.

Surveying the boisterous scene gives an insight into how auctions have evolved over time. From the mid-20th century onwards, the high-profile sales of prestigious collections became increasingly social events – host to a rich cast of characters that would no doubt have intrigued Lowry as a great British chronicler of contemporary life. With this work, Lowry joins a select group of artists who have tackled the subject, from the great English satirists such as William Hogarth and Thomas Rowlandson, through to Bansky today. Its date falls in the same year as Sotheby’s landmark auction of the Goldschmidt collection, which saw crowds gather down New Bond Street. Presented as a black-tie gala and heralding the ‘Evening Sale’ format, the Goldschmidt sale was the first auction of its kind and so attracted extensive public interest and newspaper headlines the following day.

The subject of auction also brings to the fore Lowry’s own relationship with the art market. Lowry was always frank about the financial side of his art, and typical of his character, he likened to his art as a day job on a par with his tax collecting. Though Lowry did not sell a single work at his first exhibition in Manchester in 1921, he found success in later years, with prices for his works reaching £7,000 at auction during his lifetime. This financial freedom allowed him one indulgence: acquiring artworks. He bought works by young artists, including his protégée Sheila Fell and Lucian Freud, as well as the Pre-Raphaelites. The artist acquired several masterpieces including a superb version of Rossetti’s Proserpine, which he bought at an auction in 1964 for 5,000 guineas. And so, not only was Lowry an observer of auctions, but he would have been well-aware of the highs and lows of buying and bidding, adding to the personal significance of this exceptional painting.










Today's News

November 24, 2021

Why was this ancient tusk 150 miles from land, 3,000 feet deep?

U.S. returns over 900 confiscated artifacts to Mali

Lark Mason Fine and Decorative Arts Sale now open for bidding

Rare Einstein papers set record at Paris auction

Met returns three artworks looted under British colonial rule to Nigeria

L.S. Lowry's only painting of an auction room sells for £2.6 million

Christie's Latin American Art announces spring 2022 sale calendar, led by rediscovered Diego Rivera masterpiece

Bezos gives $100 million to Obama Foundation

Pompeii online: Italy launches cultural streaming platform

One-stop shop for the holidays-Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Judith Leiber

MASSIMODECARLO opens an exhibition of works by Sanford Biggers

Lehmann Maupin presents a selection of new fabric works by acclaimed Korean-born artist Do Ho Suh

Tate Modern appoints Christine Y. Kim Britton Family Curator-At-Large (North American Art)

AstaGuru's Collectors Choice Auction featuring works by leading modernists concludes with exceptional results

Power Station of Art hosts "John Hejduk: Shanghai Masque"

Wadsworth Atheneum Board of Trustees elects Gerard Lupacchino to serve as President, new Trustees and Electors

Early printing of the Bill of Rights heads to auction

Exhibition establishes a dialogue between the works of Anthony Caro and Eduardo Chillida

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will temporarily close for renovation

Christie's to auction Michael Jordan game-worn, dual-signed Air Jordan sneakers

The emails behind the opera 'Eurydice'

Jasmina Cibic wins 14th Film London Jarman Award

Miller & Miller announces online-only Petroliana, Advertising Signs & Memorabilia auction

Trying to blur memories of the Gulag, Russia targets a rights group




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful