Rare Lowry painting could fetch £350,000

RARE PAINTING ... The Ferry, South Shields, produced by Lowry in 1967.
RARE PAINTING ... The Ferry, South Shields, produced by Lowry in 1967.

A RARE oil painting of South Shields by LS Lowry is set to sail off for £350,000 after coming back onto the market.

The Ferry, South Shields, produced by Lowry in 1967, is a piece of the town’s heritage, and is up for sale at Clark Art Gallery in Cheshire.

LS Lowry is famous for his industrial landscapes and mill scenes, but the North East became a second home to him after a visit to Sunderland in 1960.

The 20x24 inch oil painting was painted by Lowry when he was 80. It was previously owned by his friend of 50 years, Reverend Geoffrey Bennett, also an artist. Lowry was fascinated by the sea, and spent much time at the port at the mouth of the Tyne.

One of the artist’s favourite vantage points was the car park between the South Pier and The Groyne at South Shields, where he would watch the ships coming in.

Bill Clark, owner of Clark Art Gallery, said: “Lowry was entranced by the North East, and particularly by South Shields. It has great provenance and was exhibited in a major exhibition at the Lowry Centre in 2005. The Ferry is one of the stand-out pieces he produced of the area in the 1960s. Lowry’s paintings are in high demand at the moment, with a piece fetching a world record last year.

“There’s already been lots of interest in The Ferry – it has a lot of historical importance for the region.”

When The Ferry was produced, it went on display at Sunderland Art Gallery in an exhibition of his work. It has also been on display at The Lowry Gallery in Salford.

The world record for the artist’s work is £5,641,250, paid at Christie’s last year for The Football Match, a 1949 oil painting.

Lowry was 88 when he died on February 23, 1976, and in his will he left £298,459, which would today barely buy one of his own paintings.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazJoe